Why Have a Will?
An article explaining why you should have a Will and the consequences of not making a Will.
A Will is something that anyone with family members should certainly put in place but which many people don’t consider until their later years. Unfortunately for some, this is too late and they die without first having made a Will. If you do not make a Will before you pass away you shall, in law, die intestate. Dying intestate means that your property may probably not go to the people you would like it to go to. In fact, it may end up going to the State. This is because the rules on intestacy set out to whom your property will go to after your death. The Administration of Estates Act 1925 contains the rules on intestacy that will apply to all of your property should you pass away without a Will in place.
What Happens to Your Property If You Have No Will?
If you are not married or do not have a civil partner, your estate will pass to relatives in accordance with the intestacy rules. There is a set order in which your estate will pass to relatives under the intestacy rules. For example, if you are married it will pass to your spouse and partly to your children if you have children. If you are not married but have children, all your property shall pass to them. If there is no spouse or children your property shall pass to your parents. If you have no living parents your property shall pass to any brothers or sisters.
Most importantly, if you have no surviving relatives, the whole of your estate shall pass straight to the Crown, i.e. the State and Government. This in itself is a good reason for anyone whether they have family or not to make a Will.
If you are married or have a civil partner but have no children, your partner will be entitled to receive the first £200,000 of your assets along with all of your personal possessions. The remainder of your estate shall be divided between your partner and living relatives thereafter.
If you are married or have a civil partner and have children, your partner will be entitled to the first £125,000 along with all of your personal possessions. Should your estate be worth more than £125,000, your partner shall automatically gain a life-long interest in half of the remaining estate with the other half going to your children or grandchildren with your partners half passing to your children or grandchildren when they pass away.
The key reasons therefore for making a Will are firstly to make sure that your wishes regarding your property are observed and that you get to decide to whom you want your property and assets to go. The second reason is then to prevent the State from gaining your property in the event that you do not have any family to whom it would pass under the intestacy laws.
Putting in place a Will is very straightforward. You can contact a Solicitor or Will writer who will draft a Will for you or you can create your own Will using templates. These templates can be purchased online from our website and customised to suit your own specific requirements. Care should be taken to make sure that you use a template that is prepared by a suitably qualified person. Our Will templates are prepared by Solicitors specialising in Wills and probate law and can be easily customised.