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Protect your legacy by ensuring you have a will in place

November 15, 2013


Protect your legacy by ensuring you have a will in place

Death is something that none of us like to think or perhaps even talk about, yet it is essential you plan ahead to ensure your family receive what you intend for them once you have passed away.

I say this purely because I recently read that 29.3 million people – a near 66% of the UK adult population – have no will in place.

Alarmingly a near 70% of those aged in their 40s also do not have a written will, this number decreases only slightly to just over half of those    aged in their 50s. Even though most have young families they need to be thinking of.

Over 75% of UK adults plan on leaving money to their loved ones and family members when they pass away. Whilst nearly 1 in 10 of those without a will, believe their estate will automatically go to the right people when they die. Let me tell you, that this is not the case.

As without a will, you cannot guarantee that your assets will be passed on as you wish. Your legacy will be divided according to the rules of intestacy.

What happens if you die without having a will?

If you die without a will, your assets will be divided up under rules laid down by the Government.

This depends on how much you own, family structure and how your assets are held.

The only way to ensure that the right people you want to inherit do inherit your inheritance is by making a will. As without a will, the law will dictate who inherits the deceased’s estate, how and when. And this is not always in line with how the deceased may wish it to be.

2 common misconceptions about intestacy rules are:

When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse automatically inherits the entire estate. This is not definite if the value of the estate exceeds £250,000 and there are children. Or if the estate exceeds £450,000 and there are no children, but there are surviving brothers and sisters in the family.

Additionally, the other misconception is in relation to unmarried cohabiting partners.

English law does not recognise this relationship and the intestacy rules only provide for the spouse or civil partner and blood relatives. So because of this the other partner will not automatically receive anything from the will.

To ensure your estate is looked after by those you trust and distributed accordingly is it essential that you make a will. As dying without having a will may have un-desireable consequences and mean that your loved ones will only benefit from some of your assets.

Do I need to use a Legal professional? Well I would.

In order to save money it might be tempting to cut costs by using an online “DIY” will website. However, for reason of repercussions should you make a mistake,    you need to tread very carefully.

I am fully aware that there are strict legal formalities for making and signing a will, but for as long as these are observed then you can put in place a valid will without using a solicitor.

However, many o