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There are consequences of not making a will

2014-05-02 12.51.33
Photo: Nick Meredith

We all know it’s important to make a Will but just what are the consequences for not having a valid will in place?

You don’t control where your assets go

Your estate will be divided amongst your relatives in accordance with the rules of intestacy and indeed could end up with the Crown. Your estate will generally be administered by your next of kin, which may not be in accordance with your wishes.

You may not have control of who looks after your children

If you have not made a Will and you have children under the age of 18, the courts may have to decide who is appointed as their guardians.

To have control over who are the guardians for your children you need to make a Will, this reason alone should be enough to encourage most people to make a Will.

You cannot make gifts

Many people wish to make specific gifts on their death, perhaps to relatives or charities. You may want these gifts to be specific chattels or family heirlooms. If you have not made a Will you lose the ability to be able to do this as the estate will be administered in line with the laws of intestacy which do not provide for specific gifts.

If you are married, your spouse may not get everything

If you are married with children, your spouse will only receive the first £250,000 of your estate and a right to an income, but not the capital, from the remaining half.

This is contrary to the common myth that a spouse always inherits 100% of their husband or wife’s estate, and is again another excellent reason to make a Will.

If you are unmarried with children, it gets even worse

In this situation your partner will not receive anything, which in many cases is not likely to be desirable or in line with your wishes.

More inheritance tax may be payable

By not making a Will you lose out on the ability to arrange your affairs in the most tax efficient manner, which may result in more Inheritance Tax becoming payable.

Take care to look after your children

If you have children from a previous marriage, a Will is an important tool to ensure that they receive the proportion of your estate that you intend for them to have.

These are just some of the consequences of not making a Will.

I would always recommend that you have a valid Will in place and that it is checked on a regular basis, and at least in the event of any major change in your circumstances.

Making a Will can be relatively cheap can be done in your own home and doesn’t have to be time consuming.

Don’t put it off, contact me I can introduce you to experienced Estate Planners.


If you have got any questions for Nick please email them to him at nick@skemnews.com

*Please note that the contents of the articles published are the personal opinion of Mr Nick Meredith and do not necessarily reflect the views of Skemnews.com.

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