We probably all understand that we should have a Will but the reality is that most of us don’t have one. It’s important to understand what will happen to our estate if we die without a Will (intestate).
Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have not made a valid Will, your property will pass according to the Law of Intestacy. This may not be what you would have wished. In any event it is likely to take longer to finalise than if you had made a Will. During this time, your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can lead to arguments and distress for your relatives.
Food for Thought
If You Are Single
You might want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions that you want.
If you Are Married
Don’t assume “my other half will get everything”. Brothers and sisters or parents may have a claim. Often your children have a right to part of your estate. If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of – there will be arguments and disputes at a time when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.
If You Are a Parent
You should consider who you would like to look after your children in the event of your death. This is particularly important in the case of one parent families or unmarried parents living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you would have wanted, the Court will decide on the future of your children, and it may not be what you or your children would have wished.
If You Are Retired
Maybe you made a Will a long time ago. It probably needs updating to include additional grandchildren or deletion of persons you no longer feel you wish to leave anything to.
Wills advice is referred to a third party. Neither SJ Mortgage Solutions Ltd or HL Partnership are responsible for the advice received.
About the Author:
Stuart Mosely (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.