What happens if you don’t make a will?
If you die without a valid will, this is known as dying intestate.
It means that their estate will be shared out according to intestacy rules, which means that only married or civil partners or specific close relatives can inherit assets.
Intestacy rules apply BOTH if there is not a will AND if there is a will that isn’t valid.
How Do Intestacy Rules Work If You Die Without A Will?
The rules of intestacy mean that married partners or civil partners will inherit the estate as long as they were married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. This means that if you were divorced or your civil partnership was legally ended before you died, then you’re unable to inherit the estate.
However, if partners were informally separated at the time of death, they can still inherit under intestacy rules.
If there are children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of the deceased and the estate is valued at more than £270,000, then the partner will inherit a specific amount, as outlined below:
- The first £270,000 of the estate
- All personal property and belongings of the deceased
- Half of the remaining estate
Dying intestate can result in your wishes not being followed through, particularly if you have specific family members or friends that you wish to gift certain assets.
For example, if you have a blended family or have remarried (or divorced) at some point, it would be wise to look to create a valid will to ensure that your estate is distributed in the way you’d like.
How Can I Avoid Dying Intestate?
First thing’s first, you’ll need to do is to create a list of your assets AND beneficiaries.
It’ll help you figure out where you’re at, how you want to distribute it, and what you need to do.
Research has revealed that as many as 60% of adults in the UK don’t have a will, which can lead to all sorts of issues for their loved ones.
So, if you’re married, cohabiting, have children, grandchildren, own property, a car, or have anything you want to pass on, then sorting out a will should be a top priority.
Whether you’re old school with a notepad and pen like me, or au fait with modern tech and opening a google doc, it’s important to take notes.
Because you’ll want to compile that list of assets AND a list of beneficiaries – everyone you want to look after once you’ve passed. It’s best to do it this way to ensure you don’t leave anyone out – and that DOES happen.
Writing A Will – What Do I Need To Know?
Family is complicated.
Everyone’s family situation is different, whether you have stepchildren, ex-partners, a big family, a small family, or a blended family.
And because you might have ended a marriage where you have children with your ex-partner, or even own a house or other assets, it can make things less straightforward.
It’s why your wishes are unique, and it’s why creating a valid will is SO important.
The rule to remember is:
If it changes your life, it changes your will.
That means if you get married, divorced, have a baby, adopt a child, or a loved one passes away. Life is busy and complicated, but your will should always be up to date and reflect your current circumstances.
You should also consider inheritance tax (IHT) and gifting rules.
If the total value of your estate (when you add up ALL of your assets including property, finances, and possessions) is under £325,000, then you don’t need to think about inheritance tax…
But if it’s more than £325,000… then you’ll need to account for IHT.
Find A Solicitor Near Me To Help Write A Will…
Creating a will can be a complex process.
Your circumstances and wishes are unique to you, so it’d be wise to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to explore your options and ensure you create a will that’s valid and fulfils your wishes.
At Solicitors Near Me, we connect you with a specialist solicitor near to where you live or work to help with your will writing requirements.
We don’t charge anything for our service and you’re under no obligation to work with any solicitor we connect you with – it’s up to you.
Yep, our service really is completely FREE – and if you choose not to go ahead with the solicitor we connect you with, you won’t pay a penny (but we don’t think this is very likely as all of our solicitors are great).
Find A Will Writing Solicitor Near Me Now