The money and possessions left by someone who hasn’t made a Will is distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. This leaves all personal possessions and the first £270,000 to any spouse, along with 50 percent of the remainder. The other 50 percent is split between any children.
Depending on the size of an estate, this could mean that children are left with either very little or a very large amount after payment of inheritance tax. Another potential problem is that the Rules of Intestacy do not include any provision for unmarried partners or stepchildren.
By thinking through now what you would like to happen after your death, you can make sure that a valid Will is put in place to ensure that all of your friends and relatives are included in the way that you want them to be.
You can leave individual possessions to people, as well as cash. You also have the opportunity to express your wishes for your funeral. While this won’t be legally binding, it can help your family to know what you would have wanted.
In the difficult time after someone dies, disputes often arise. Emotions are running high and little things can turn into heated arguments.
By carefully setting out what you want to happen in your Will, you can help to guide those left behind. If your wishes are clearly expressed, there is a good chance this will prevent arguments.
If you feel able to talk things through with relatives beforehand, this will also smooth the way. When the time comes, they will know in advance what you wanted to happen and understand the reasons you made the choices you did.
Conversely, if they are left without a Will to refer to, they will need to try and come to agreement between themselves over some things. This can increase the levels of anxiety and there is a risk that people will feel left out or that their voice is not being heard.
Relatives may have different opinions as to what your wishes might have been and how the estate should be wound up. There are many decisions to be made and the potential for many disputes. It is a sad fact that sometimes families are fractured beyond repair by disputes that arise after a death.
Leaving a clearly expressed Will helps those left behind to work together to achieve your wishes.
To talk to one of our expert Will writers, ring us on 01276 415835/6/7.