Should I make a Will?

Let’s face it, wills are undervalued and often overlooked. In fact, around 54% of the British public do not have one.

A few phrases come to mind when people discuss taking the plunge and drafting a will:

  • “I’ll get around to it at some point”
  • “I don’t need a will”
  • “I don’t want to talk about death”
  • “I don’t have any assets to give away”
  • “My family know what I want”

Many people find speaking to a solicitor a scary prospect, particularly when the chat involves the topic of what happens when you die.

Having a will 

A will is a legally binding way of dealing with your affairs after your death. There are many important reasons to have a will, for example:

  • If you do not have a will, everything you own will be shared out in a way which is decided by the law. This is outlined in more detail below
  • A will makes matters easier for your loved ones when you die due to the certainty and understanding that comes with it
  • A well-drafted will can help with inheritance tax planning
  • A will lets you choose people that you know and trust to deal with your affairs after your death

To truly appreciate the importance of having a will, you need to understand what happens without a will.

The Intestacy Rules

If you die without a valid will, your estate passes via a special set of rules called the Intestacy Rules. Under these rules only certain people can inherit your estate when you die. The rules apply in order of closeness:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Children/grandchildren (including adopted)
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and aunts
  • Cousins
  • The Crown

The amount that an individual will receive from your estate is uncertain and depends on the value of your estate and who has survived you from the list above. One thing that is certain is that there is no control over who receives what from your estate. 

A special mention must go to:

  • Cohabitants or unmarried partners
  • Common-law spouses
  • Friends
  • Stepparents or stepchildren
  • Ex-spouses or civil partners

If you die without a will, these people inherit nothing!

How can we help?

Hudsons Solicitors is a family run business who can offer you all the advice and assistance you need to put your affairs in to order and make the process of preparing a will less stressful.