If a person dies without a valid Will then it is said that they died Intestate and the rules of intestacy will need to be followed to determine who will inherit their estate.
In contrast to a Will, the primary consequences of having an Intestacy are:
- It could affect those who are financially dependent on you while alive.
- Such dependants may not receive what you would wish.
- Personal Representatives are appointed to administer the estate, who you may not wish to do so.
- Intestacy can be costly and time-wasteful in administering your Estate.
- Your children will have no legal guardian appointed and may, at least initially, be taken into care by the Local Authority.
- The Government could claim your property if there is no relative to inherit.
- On marriage any previous Will becomes invalid and a new Will must be made to avoid intestacy.
- The estate can be given to unintended recipients, possible unknown to you such as long lost cousins.
- No provision will be available for unmarried couples
What is a Will?
A Will is a document that enables you to decide who should benefit from your money, property, possessions, and assets after your death. A Will can also appoint Guardians for minor children and be used for Inheritance Tax planning. A Will can be written at any stage in life and can be revised or replaced as your circumstances change. We suggest a review every 5 years or on major life changes. It must always be correctly written and witnessed to be valid.
The importance of using a solicitor
If you wish to create your Will, we recommend seeking legal advice to avoid the Will being invalid or not achieving your wishes. We offer a comprehensive Will writing service and expert advice and guidance.
Our Will solicitors are committed to you and ensuring that all your wishes are recorded. Every point will be clearly defined to avoid any doubt about your intentions. We offer competitive rates for this service. Our fees start at £200 + VAT for a single Will and £320 + VAT for ‘mirror’ Wills between spouses and partners. The majority of our Wills fall into this price bracket but there may be additional charges if the requirements are complex.
Living Wills & Advance Directives
Wills only come into effect after death. A Living Will however specifies the kinds of medical treatment that should be administered or not administered on an individual in instances where they cannot make such decisions by themselves
The document, whilst not legally binding, could define any strong beliefs such as refusal of blood transfusions or resuscitation Stating your wishes in the event of these delicate circumstances through the Living Will offer the family guidance and comfort if they are asked to make difficult decisions. We are able to assist if you would like to explore this further. Please see also Lasting Powers of Attorney.