What happens when you die without a Will?
So, you are in a happy, stable relationship. You have been together for 14 years and you have two children from a previous marriage. You don’t plan to get married again and you live in the house that you bought out from your first spouse. You’ve got plenty of life assurance to cover the £200000 mortgage you raised to buy your spouse out. You have even managed to save a bit of money and have £50000 put past. Why would you bother to make a Will? Surely if something happens to you, everything will just go to your partner? They’ll be looked after. Anyway; you’re not going to die.
Then, it appears you are not immortal. You become the victim of one of the two unavoidable happenings in life. The first is taxes, the other one is death. You are not the victim of the tax man – it’s the other grim reaper!
Surely everything will go to your partner? Well…….not exactly.
Because you are not married, your partner has no rights to your estate at all. Not even your life assurance. You see, your partner has no rights if you die without a Will and your children have.
So everything will go to them. What’s that? You don’t get on with them because they never got on with your new partner? Not what you intended? You should have made a Will.
Even if you didn’t have children, your partner still stands to gain nothing from your estate. In that instance your parents, brothers and sisters would share your estate among them.
Maybe the situation above doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you have been happily married to your spouse for a long, long time. But if you don’t want your spouse to have to wait for months to get your affairs settled (the last thing they need having just lost their life-partner), a Will will make sure everything gets sorted as quickly as possible.
So who should have a Will?
Well, you should really make a Will if any of these apply to you:
- You are single but own property – don’t leave a mess for your loved ones to sort.
- You have a partner but are not married or in a Civil Partnership – your partner may not have any rights to any of your property
- You have children with but are not married to the other biological parent – you need to get things like Guardianship sorted out (the father might not have automatic parental responsibility)
- You are married and own property of any description, either on your own account or with your spouse – make it easy on your spouse. A Will gets things sorted more quickly.
Not having a Will could mean:
- Your estate ends up going where you didn’t intend
- It takes much longer to sort your affairs out
- It costs much more to go through the Courts to get things sorted
- Your loved ones end up with much more stress than they need or can handle
Having a consultation with a Wills specialist can sort so many things. They can advise you on the law and what you can and cannot do. It helps crystallise issues that you may not have given much thought to but once you have them clarified you will feel so much more relaxed.
No-one ever regrets making a Will. Plenty families are left to regret it when someone doesn’t.