According to lexology.com, roughly 60% of the adult population don’t have a Will.
With the figures suggesting this is the norm, there may be consequences for your loved ones if you die intestate.
So why do people run the risk?
One of the main reasons people decide not to write a Will, is that they believe they have nothing to leave.
Although this may be true in the number of assets, one of your main assets is likely to be property, and therefore a life insurance policy.
This policy means that any outstanding mortgage will be paid off upon the owners death leaving a considerable asset.
Other overlooked assets appear to be shareholdings, pensions and death in service benefits.
Quite a lot for someone who has nothing!
The second misconception is that people believe their partner will receive everything when they die.
If you are married, or hold the assets jointly (and can prove it) then yes, this is the case. However, savings accounts, ISAs and anything that may be brought into a relationship are normally only held in one name; the deceased’s.
What are the intestacy rules?
Where the deceased leaves a spouse AND children/grandchildren:
- The spouse/partner receives all personal chattels,
- The spouse/partner receives £250,000 free of Inheritance Tax (IHT). If the estate is worth less than this, they receive everything,
- The rest of the estate is split in half and divided between the spouse and the children/grandchildren.
Where the deceased leaves a spouse and no children/grandchildren:
- The spouse/partner inherits everything.
If the deceased does not have a spouse the estate passes to blood relatives in this order:
- The children/grandchildren,
- The deceased’s parents,
- The deceased siblings,
- The deceased’s half siblings,
- The deceased’s grandparents,
- The deceased’s aunties and uncles,
- The deceased’s half aunties and uncles.
If there are no blood relatives, the estate passes to the Crown.
It is also worth mentioning that unmarried couples have no rights to the estate unless specifically mentioned in the Will.
Dying without a Will can understandably cause family disputes and arguments as the intestacy rules can make things quite complicated.
If you need any help or guidance regarding Wills contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250.