What Happens When You Die Without a Will?

What Happens When You Die Without a Will?

The common misconception is that if you die without a will those relatives closest to you will decide how your assets are split.  However, this is simply not the case.  Most people do not know that there are strict rules in place which could mean that their wealth ends up going to people they did not intend it to go to.

More and more people in the public eye are passing away without having made a Will.  Most recently the news that Aretha Franklin died intestate, leaving an estimated fortune of $80 million, should be a wake-up call to anyone without a will.  Aretha joins a long list of famous people including Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Kurt Cobain, James Brown and Prince.

The number of people without a will in the UK is at an all-time high.  It is estimated that over 30 million adults run the risk of dying intestate, having failed to make provision for their estate.   This means they run the risk of having their estate distributed according to intestacy law, which may not reflect their wishes.  More importantly, and perhaps most worrying,  half of those adults without a will have children.

  • What are the benefits of making a will? – You will ensure that you make provision for your loved ones, which will avoid confusion and heartache after you have gone.  You will have complete peace of mind that your wishes will be followed.  Furthermore you will potentially avoid paying inheritance tax and protect your estate from being contested.
  • Are you an unmarried couple living together, with children?  If so, and one of you dies, you should note that the surviving partner will not inherit anything.  This is due to the fact that the term “common-law partner” has no legal standing.  Under the intestacy rules the deceased person’s estate would be shared equally between the children.  This is why it is crucially important for couples in this position to make Wills.

Make sure you make provision for your loved ones – make a Will.  Contact us TODAY on 01302 341243 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced private client Solicitors.

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