Why should I have a Will?
Paul Mounce, 21st January, 2020
It is estimated that around two thirds of adults in the UK do not have a Will. This leaves them open to the uncertainty of the rules of intestacy. These rules, created early in the last century, do not take account of the modern world.
Without a Will unmarried couples may not inherit each other’s assets, there is no room for gifts of specific items or legacies to grandchildren and you don’t even get to choose who deals with the administration of your estate, let alone who inherits your hard-earned assets!
In this article we look at three examples of situations where not having a Will can cause real problems for an estate.
Young couple buying their first house
John and Sarah are not married but have decided to buy a house together. They do not have any children. Their solicitor tells them that they own the property as joint tenants meaning that if one of them dies, the other will inherit the property. As they do not have any other assets they do not make a Will. Unfortunately, they both die together in a car accident. As John was older he is deemed to die first so the property passes to Sarah but as she has already died it then passes on to Sarah’s parents, meaning John’s family receive nothing.
Barbara is a widow who has three children, Carol, Simon and John. After Barbara’s husband died she had a big falling out with John, and has not spoken to him for ten years. She gets on well with Carol, while Simon has moved back in with her to help out. Barbara dies without a Will. Her house will be divided between all three children, John will receive an equal share and Simon will have to leave his home, unless he can afford to buy out his brother and sister.
Grandfather’s War Medals
Jim inherited his Grandfather’s medals and spent many hours discussing and looking at them with his own son Steven. He always told Steven that he would leave them to him but did not make a Will. After Jim’s death it turned out that one of the medals was worth a lot of money and as they were inherited by Steven and his twin brother David they had to be sold so that it could be shared equally between them.
These problems could all have been avoided by making a Will. Do not leave what happens on your death to chance, when it is easy to ensure your wishes are carried out by your family after your death.
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