No Will? The Risks Of Intestacy

With no will in place, you run the risks of intestacy and lost opportunities for your family and other beneficiaries, so writing a will is an important document to have completed.

Here are some commonly asked questions and concerns from clients who don’t have a Will in place:

What does Intestacy mean?

When someone dies without a will, their estate is divided up according to standard rules, known as the rules of intestacy. These rules will allocate your estate to your family members in a strict order and don’t take into account the closeness of your relationships, or who is most in need.

I live with my partner but we are not married or in a civil partnership.

Without a valid Will, usually a spouse or civil partner will inherit the bulk of your estate but if you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner isn’t legally entitled to any of your assets when you die.

There are cases where family members have inherited an estate and the partner of the deceased has been forced to move out of the home shared with their deceased partner for many years.

Without a Will, will my children inherit?

If there is no surviving married or civil partner, the children will inherit the whole estate. They will receive this when they reach the age of 18 or when they marry or form a civil partnership under this age. Would you want your child to inherit a substantial sum of money at the tender age of 18?

If there is a surviving married or civil partner, children will only inherit if the estate is over a certain amount.

I am married and we are both concerned as to potential care home fees in later years. Can we protect our assets from care home fees in a Will?

In your Will, you can set up a trust to ring-fence assets against care home fees, these assets can then pass to children or grandchildren or to other beneficiaries of your choosing.

I am in a new relationship but have children from a previous relationships, how can I provide for my new partner and my children?

If you are in a relationship and have children from previous relationships, you can set up a trust in your Wills to preserve part of the estate for those children.

I am married but don’t have a Will, will there be any inheritance tax payable when I die?

Depending on the value of your estate, the intestacy rules may result in there being an inheritance tax liability on death. This can be avoided by structuring the Will to take advantage of the spouse or civil partner exemption.

 

No will in place? 

We can help.

By having a Will which is professionally written, you can set out who your wish your estate to pass to and also control the age at which the beneficiaries are to inherit. This reduces the likelihood of disagreements over the estate and therefore reduces the stress for everyone concerned.

You can also take steps to ring-fence assets against care home fees or preserve them for children from previous relationships and make sure that you maximise the opportunities to mitigate any potential inheritance tax.

 

Don’t leave the future of your family to chance

If you wish to discuss the options with our wills and probate team, please call 01924 457171 or 0330 300 1103.

Or you can request a call back and somebody from our team will contact you at a time which is convenient to you.


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