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It is very important that all adults have a valid Will.
To ensure this is done properly, it is recommended that you have it drawn up by a specialist lawyer to make sure it meets all requirements. For further information, please get in touch with our private client team for further advice.
A Will determines what happens to a person’s estate in the event of their death. Advantages to having a Will are wide-ranging and include:
● distributing your estate to specific loved ones● naming a guardian for your children● reducing the tax payable from your estate● choosing your executors
It should be stressed that unmarried partners (including those with children) who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from their partner without a valid Will being in place. Depending on how you own your home in this situation will also affect whether the ownership will pass to the surviving spouse.
Marriage and Divorce
You must also remember that marriage automatically revokes a Will. Often those entering into a second marriage will think that a previous Will leaving their estate to their children is still valid and this is not the case. On the flip side, divorce does not automatically revoke your Will and so this has to be amended to ensure your Will is correctly updated.
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Protect your loved ones by making a Will
If someone dies and does not have a valid Will in place then the rules of intestacy will be used to determine how your estate is to be distributed. In some cases, this can be completely different to what you would have wanted to happen.
The current intestacy rules are as follows:
● if there is a spouse and no children, then the spouse will inherit the entire estate.● if there is a spouse and children, then the spouse will inherit any movable property as well as a set statutory legacy, currently set at £270,000, including interest from the date of death. The remaining residuary estate is then equally divided between the spouse and any children.
If there is no spouse then there is a set order that other family members are considered as the relevant beneficiary; starting with children of the deceased through to aunts and uncles. If the deceased does not have any family members specified in the intestacy rules, then the Crown inherits the entire estate.