Many people forget or don’t bother making a will. Some even choose to avoid the issue considering it too morbid, especially if they are young, fit and healthy.
However, family relationships can be complicated and the absence of a will means that others may benefit from your death no matter what your personal wishes.
If you die without leaving a will you will be intestate. This means the law will decide who gets what. If you haven’t made a will, the following implications may surprise you.
Nearest and Dearest
If you are married and have no children, your spouse is entitled to everything. If you have children and your estate is worth more than £250,000, your spouse will inherit that sum and 50% of the rest. The remaining sum will be divided equally between your children, which they can access once they turn 18. Stepchildren who are not legally adopted by you have no claim to your estate.
Unmarried partners will have no automatic right to inherit, no matter how many years you have been together.
Many couples separate, but don’t divorce. If you’re separated and have no children, your estranged spouse will inherit everything.
Out of the Woodwork
It’s a cliché, but it’s true… when money and property is involved, many relatives come crawling out of the woodwork. Without a will, even a distant relative can make a valid claim to your estate if they can prove a biological connection.
Friends and Carers
If you have no surviving relatives you may want to leave your estate to a friend or carer. With no will, they won’t be able to claim anything. The Crown will get everything.
Whether you want to write a Will or deal with the affairs of a loved one that has passed away, Mark Reynolds Solicitors are here to help. Contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors on 0800 002 9577 today to speak to our no win, no fee Wills & Probate advisors.