If you die without a Will (this is called intestate) the laws of intestacy come into play. These are sets of rules written in 1925 and calls on a Judge to decide where you may have wished for your money and your assets to go and to whom. Dying intestate can cause untold expense and misery at a difficult time, and your spouse or Civil Partner may not automatically inherit everything.
If you have children under 18 years of age you need to make a Will to appoint Guardians to look after them if you are no longer around. Without an appointed Guardian or Guardians, a court will need to decide where your children live if they are under age, and social services could take the children into care.
Dying intestate if you are not married could leave your partner with nothing, regardless of how many years spent together. If you do not have a Will, this could put your older children into a legal battle with your bereaved partner.
As expert estate planners, we can explain how using trusts can maximise the inheritance that you leave. Trusts are not just for the rich!
Talking about death is never a topic that anyone looks forward to. In many families, it's actually a very taboo topic. If we don’t discuss death and plans for after we pass away, however, our loved ones may be put in an impossible situation at a time when they should be grieving and supporting one another.
On top of losing a loved one, many families are faced with the unpleasant task of trying to organise the estate and assets of their relative, this is a task made much harder if you don't have a Will, properly witnessed and attested, stating your wishes and intentions for your distribution of your assets.
When a person dies without a Will, they are deemed to have died intestate, meaning the state must appoint a Judge who will then be responsible for deciding how you would have wanted your estate (your money and any assets you own, like your house) to be distributed.
This unpleasant task is even more of a concern if the deceased leaves behind a spouse or children, and especially if the children are not related or are children with a previous partner.
For this very reason alone, there is a huge sense of relief in creating a Will, for both the family and loved ones who are left, and for the person who created the Will. Being able to specify who will receive a share of your estate, and who will not, and how your estate and assets are divided provides our customers with peace of mind.
If you haven’t created a Will, your family member will need to make a claim against the Courts within 7 years of your passing, or your estate will be absorbed back into the State.
When a person passes without a legal Will in place, their relatives or claimants would need to get the office of probate to agree on how the will should be divided between the deceased's loved ones.
Claimants will have the impossible task of splitting their loved one’s estate and assets, a job that can get particularly ugly in some family settings where bad feeling or resentment has been commonplace, or where a relative with whom the deceased was not close want to claim a share of the pot.