The importance of making a Will before you die has been emphasised by a recent charity report that shows a sharp rise in the number of intestate queries during the past five years.
The charity Citizens Advice had 1,522 queries in 2011 regarding people who had died without making a Will – and 3,747 queries in 2015. These figures are backed up by a recent YouGov survey which highlighted almost two-thirds of UK adults do not have a Will.
If you die without making a Will, your estate – your property and possessions – will be divided up according to the Rules of Intestacy rather than your personal wishes.
What Is Intestacy?
When a person dies without a Will, they are described as being intestate and their estate is subject to the Rules of Intestacy, which means these inheritance laws decide the future of that estate rather than the individual.
The Rules of Intestacy are often unfair and cause a great deal of stress and upheaval for loved ones at an already emotionally difficult time. Intestacy does not take into consideration the person’s individual situation and the same rules apply regardless, namely that close family members inherit – which won’t necessarily be a reflection on who the deceased would have wanted to inherit. For example, this law does not acknowledge unmarried couples and the surviving partner won’t automatically inherit under intestacy; and step children are not acknowledged either.
If there is no surviving relative who can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy, the estate passes to the Crown.
By making a Will, you decide how your estate is distributed after your death and who benefits from your life’s worth – and this is why a Will is so important.
Why You Should Make A Will
Making a Will is the best way to protect loved ones and ensure you can look after them long after you’ve gone. It is your opportunity to state clearly exactly how you want your property and possessions (your estate) to be distributed when you die, and provides you with peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and loved ones spared the additional stress of intestate uncertainty when you go.
At Bartletts Solicitors, we provide extensive Wills and Probate services and will ensure you can protect your loved ones after your death in the best possible way – by writing a Will. Regardless of how simple or complex your personal circumstances are, we will help you find the right solution for you and to draft a Will that meets your needs.
In addition to expressing your wishes, we can advise on the most tax efficient measures too, so your loved ones can inherit more as a result.
For professional advice and guidance on your particular circumstances and for professional help on writing your Will, please contact our solicitors on 01244 311 633 or freephone - 0800 988 3674 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org