We all need a solicitor at some time. Have you not got round to making a Will?
It is estimated that two thirds of all UK residents make this same mistake.
One of the most significant things you may do is make a Will. Nevertheless, it is one of those jobs we put off and think … Oh I’ll do it tomorrow… We all mean to, but often circumstances mean that we never actually get round to doing it. We associate seeing a solicitor with spending money we may not have right now, yet failing to make a Will can have consequences for our families, which is the last thing they will want to have to deal with on top of their loss. This is particularly true if you’re not married to your partner, or have not formed a civil partnership. What the current law dictates is that everything should, in fact, go to your nearest blood relative, even if that were not your wish.
If you die before making a will your partner won’t automatically inherit anything from you.
So why is it so necessary to make a Will?
You don’t have to have an abundance of money and a large estate to make a Will, this is a misconception.
Wills allow you to:
- Allocate whom you want to manage your estate after you die. Without a Will,it will automatically be your nearest blood relative.
- Make provisions for children under 18 and appoint guardians to look after them and anyone else with parental responsibility if you die. This will also guarantee that they are looked after financially.
- State what you want at your funeral, and whom you would like involved.
- Leave some sort of tenancy in your Will, to protect your loved ones from being forced to find a new home after your death.
- Direct your closest relatives as to whether you may be eligible to some form of compensation after death e.g. an insurance pay-out or a death-in-service payment.
If you haven’t made a Will what sort of problems might arise?
If you’re separated but still ‘technically’ married to your former husband, wife or civil partner and haven’t made a Will they could still conceivably inherit the bulk of your estate. They could gain your personal possessions and the first £250,000 of your estate plus a life interest in half of anything that is left. This is the case even if you want this to go to a current partner or your children. Your children will only get something if the estate is worth over £250,000. An unmarried partner would get nothing. If you don’t have children then your ex partner would get the first £450,000 and a half of anything that’s left.
If you have children and are not married, or are divorced, the whole estate will be distributed between your children. Initially this may seem fair and make sense under the circumstances, but can lead to future problems between your children and your partner. They would own any savings and personal belongings, and possibly even your home. Your partner would have no right to anything. You may actually want your children to inherit everything, but a solicitor will be able to advise on better ways of attaining this.
To obtain further advice contact
Harold Stock and Co.
55-57 Stamford Street,
Tameside, OL5 0LN.
Telephone Number: 01457 835597 / 01457 835034.
Fax: 01457 837410.