Do I need a will?
Nobody likes to think about death, but we are all aware that life doesn’t go on forever. It is therefore vital that we plan ahead and think about what we would like to happen when we are gone.
If you die without making a will, you’ll be regarded as having died ‘intestate’ and your estate will be dealt with according to the ‘Rules of Intestacy’.
Essentially, what this means is that all of your property (if your estate is valued under £250,000) will go to your spouse, if you have one; if not, it will be divided among your relatives according to strict rules, depending on whether or not you have any children, parents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces and so on.
If the value of your estate is over £250,000, everything above this figure will normally be shared by your spouse (again, if you have one) and your children. If no relatives can be found your assets will be given to the government!
This may not be a problem to some people, but consider the following consequences if you die without making a will:
The Rules of Intestacy only benefit spouses (including civil partners) and biological children. If you have a special someone in your life but are unmarried, and perhaps there are children from a previous relationship whom you look upon with love and affection, your partner and step-children are likely to lose out
The Rules make no provision for your friends or any charities to which you may want to leave something
If you are separated but not divorced from your spouse, they will inherit your estate
If your estate has to be divided between your spouse and children, it may mean selling your house to pay the children's shares, leaving your spouse with no home or having to find somewhere else to live
If you do not leave a will, it could result in your loved ones arguing over who should get what, which in some cases may mean expensive lawyers getting involved (the costs of which might be paid from your estate)
Finally, it is worth mentioning again that, having paid taxes all your life, if no relatives can be identified all of your property will be given over to the state!
At Hutton's, we will guide you through the process of making your will and answer any questions you may have
How much will it cost?
Our charges start from as little as £120 (plus VAT).
Your questions answered
Other issues to think about
Living Wills (Advance Decisions)
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Nothing on this website constitutes legal advice. Please contact us for advice on your individual circumstances.