Sadly, during the pandemic in 2020, our team were supporting an increasing number of relatives in difficult circumstances because their loved ones died without having a will in place. In this blog, we’d like to gently remind you of the reasons why having an up-to-date will is so important for protecting your loved ones.
Why do I need a will?
A will is the only way to ensure your assets pass to those you wish to benefit. If you don’t have a will the courts decide where your assets go. This process can be incredibly painful for surviving relatives and cause conflict at a time when they are grieving. It can result in expensive legal fees and be a slow process with months turning into years if there are complications.
You may be surprised to learn that without a will some of your nearest and dearest may not be entitled to inherit a share of your assets and the rules of intestacy will be applied, which could create tensions within the family and financial problems:
- Cohabiting Partners (sometimes call “common law” partners) who are not married or in a civil partnership can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy.
- Partners who have separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy (they won’t if you have divorced or legally ended your civil partnership).
- Children from previous relationships may not be entitled to inherit.
- In extreme circumstances, courts may have to decide who looks after children under 18, if this cannot be settled within the family.
It’s also incredibly important to review your will regularly and update it as your circumstances change to ensure it reflects your wishes.
This recent example shows the impact on the surviving family of not having a will:
A husband recently died suddenly without a will making his wishes clear on how he’d like his estate (worth around £200,000) to be distributed amongst his loved ones. Under the rules of intestacy his wife legally inherited all his personal possessions including assets he owned personally. His children and grandchildren were not legally entitled to inherit any of his estate, which has caused additional stress and friction within this grieving family.
How Hallidays can help
Our experienced team will sensitively discuss your estate and wishes with you, either over the phone, at your home or Hallidays, if you prefer. We’ll help you write or update your will if your circumstances have changed. This will give you and your loved ones clarity and peace of mind for the future.
“I’ve been meaning to get my estate in order, but I kept putting it off for years. Hallidays explained everything in a language even I could understand and quickly prepared my will. I wish I had engaged Hallidays years ago; but, better late than never.” – anon
To learn more, please get in touch with our friendly Wealth Management Team on 0161 476 8276 or email [email protected] for support with all areas of financial planning, including estate planning and wills.