What is the point of a Will?15/04/19
Having specialised in drafting bespoke Wills and Probate for around 10 years I understand all too well the tears, arguments and costs faced by those left behind if you die without either a Will or an up to date Will in place.
When I am asked ‘what is the point of a Will?’ the answer that works best is to describe what happens if you do not have one.
If you die without a Will or your Will is invalid or does not cover all aspects of your estate then your estate is shared out according to certain rules known as the ‘rules of intestacy’. You have no control over who receives your estate which could mean your:
- spouse does not inherit all of your estate – because a spouse only inherits the personal possessions and first £250,000 then whatever remains is split between your spouse and your children
- children automatically inherit at 18 – they are entitled to their inheritance regardless of how mature or vulnerable they are
- children inherit nothing – if the estate is less than £250,000 they will not inherit
- partner inherits nothing – if you are not married to your "common law wife or husband" they are not entitled to anything
- estranged children or siblings inherit
- step-children will not inherit
- if no surviving relatives the government takes everything
- family control your business
The absence of a Will means your affairs will take much longer to settle – sometimes involving costly court proceedings – bringing even more worry and anxiety into the lives of your family at an already difficult time.
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