Even though having a Will in place is the most effective way to leave details to your family about how you would like your money and assets to be split, or make special bequests to charity, the number of people who don’t have one in place is remarkably high.

Statistics show that 59% of people in the UK have not made a Will.

The reasons for this are varied: some feel that making a Will is something to do when they are older, some think they don’t have enough wealth to warrant a Will, or don’t want to discuss or think about their mortaility, others simply can’t understand why having a Will in place is so essential.

Even if you have discussed with your family your thoughts and feelings about what would happen following your death, putting it down in writing ensures clarity and reassurance for your loved ones both whilst you are still living and after your death.

A Will won’t just detail what you would like to go to whom, but it is also your chance to make it clear who you want to act as the Executors of your estate.

Making this clear can minimise confusion and ensure the people who you trust are those in control following your death.

So, what happens if you don’t have a Will in place when you die?

When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy and are very complex.

A person who dies without leaving a will is called an intestate person.

In these circumstances, husbands/wives and civil partners have specific rights but do not automatically inherit the entire estate of their other half.

Any children have inheritance rights, but more distant family members, friends and cohabitants do not.

Without a Will, you cannot give clear instructions about how you want your estate distributed after your death and in our experience, this almost always leads to disharmony within family units.

We therefore advise that it is best that you write a Will and that it is kept up to date to reflect your wishes. The process is simple and could save a lot of time and discourse for your family in the future.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss this subject further, we are more than happy to help!

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