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Who should make a Will?
Most of us are aware of the importance of making a will, but only
3 out of 10 people have actually done this.Every day around
2,000 people die in the UK, but only a minority have made a Will.
Some people have invalid or out of date Wills.
Around 30 million people have yet to make their first Will.
Sadly, not enough people realise the distress and disruption that can be caused for a family when someone dies intestate - without a Will. As time goes by, things will change with your life. Because of this, it is always a good idea, once you have made your Will, to keep it safe and check it occasionally to see if it still reflects your wishes.
A Will is a legally binding document. It is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death.
Without a Will it always takes longer to finalise the distribution and closing of your estate. This means that your beneficiaries may not be able to get their hands on the money you intended for them. This could lead to arguments and avoidable distress for your relatives.
Here are some examples of how not having a Will may affect you:
Married couples/Civil Partners: Your spouse may only inherit part of your estate
Parents: Your children may be taken into care and it will be up to a court to decide who will be responsible for their upbringing
Unmarried couples: Your partner may receive nothing at all from your estate
Separated couples: Your spouse may inherit part of your property and may have continuing rights in the rest
Everybody: Items of personal sentiment or other value may only be left to those you desire if you have made a will.
Dying Intestate
Any person who dies without executing (making) a valid last will is known as dying INTESTATE and in that event the deceased's estate is distributed according to the Law on Intestacy. Hopefully you will already be aware of the importance of making a Last Will, so that your true wishes will be made known at the time of your death.
It is important to be aware that the spouse of a deceased person who died Intestate, DOES NOT automatically inherit the whole of the estate, if the total value of the free estate passing on the death, is of substantial value. The Law prescribes what a surviving spouse can automatically receive, this is known as the Statutory legacy, and the amount is dependent on whether or not the deceased was also survived by issue and certain other relatives, again in order of strict priority.
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