Why should I make a will? The Laws of Intestacy

If you die without a Will, then the Government will decide who will inherit your estate in accordance with the Laws of Intestacy. However, these laws state that your spouse may end up sharing your estate with your children or parents. Or if you are an unmarried couple, then your partner may not get anything.

If you do not make provision for young children, then the authorities will decide who is best placed to look after them, which may be hugely upsetting and disruptive. It can also mean that your partner (if you are not married) does not automatically become guardian of young children.

If you die without making a Will, your ex-spouse may be entitled to claim part or all of your estate in certain circumstances. Even if your ex-spouse cannot make a claim, the assets you leave in trust for your children may fall under their control.

So by making a will, you will be ensuring that your wishes are known and your estate goes to who you want it too.

Making a will is normally quite straightforward and you will be secure in the knowledge you have done everything correctly and that you have tied up all those loose ends. The best way to do this is to have the will drafted professionally.

A professionally drafted will ensure that you:

  • Specify whom you wish to inherit your estate, in what order and in what proportions so that you have comfort in the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out.
  • Make specific legacies to family or friends or gifts to your favourite charities.
  • Appoint suitable guardians for young children rather than leaving the decision to the Courts.
  • Set up maintenance trusts for children to protect their inheritance until an age specified by you.
  • Ensure the inheritance of your children or other beneficiaries should the survivor re-marry.
  • Protect your share of the property from having to be sold to pay for the survivors future care fees, thus still having assets to leave to your family.

Wills should be regularly reviewed – atleast every 2 to 5 years. Sometimes your wishes may not have changed, but the value of your assets and the law may have. So you need to make sure that your Will continues to reflect exactly what you want it to and continues to take advantage of any changes in legislation. .

It is also important to note that if your personal situation should change through divorce, marriage or death of a spouse, that any existing will in place at the time automatically becomes invalid. Under these circumstances a completely new will should be drawn up.


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