The importance of making a Will has been emphasised again recently after it was shown that intestate queries have more than doubled in the last five years.
Featuring on a BBC Radio 5 talk show in mid-May, the charity Citizens Advice revealed there has been a massive jump in the number of people who died intestate, without making a Will, as intestate queries rose from 1,522 in 2011 to 3,747 in 2015.
If you die without making a Will, your estate is subject to the Rules of Intestacy and this law determines how your property and assets are distributed – and not you.
The alarming report seems to reflect a recent YouGov survey, which stated that nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK do not have a Will.
What Do You Need To Do?
If you haven’t done so already, we would strongly recommend that you write a Will so you can express how you want your assets distributed and who should benefit from your estate when you die.
This recent report by Citizens Advice serves as a stark reminder of why making a Will really matters as without one your estate is vulnerable to the Rules of Intestacy and your possessions won’t necessarily go to those you love.
Intestacy favours close relatives rather than the individuals you are actually closest to and wish to look after. This is particularly true for unmarried couples as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit under intestacy, and there can be further complications for couples or individuals with step children as the Rules of Intestacy do not acknowledge step children. If there is no surviving relative able to inherit then the estate is given to the Crown under the laws of intestacy.
Without a Will, loved ones suffer a great deal of stress and may lose out on their inheritance – which is why it’s important to make a Will if you haven’t already done so.
Here To Help
Making a Will to protect loved ones also means ensuring it is legally watertight – an invalid Will is on a par with no Will at all and will be subject to the Rules of Intestacy all the same. We can help you write a Will that reflects all your wishes, makes the most of your assets in terms of tax savings, and stands up to any potential inheritance claims against it.
For further advice and guidance on making a Will, contact our specialist team in our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or in our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or email email@example.com
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.