Thinking and talking about dying is something no-one wants to do. But having those difficult conversations and making plans now, while you’re alive and in good health, will protect your loved ones from the potential nightmare of you dying without a Will.
When someone dies and there is a valid Will, what happens next is reasonably straightforward. The executors carry out their duty to ensure the estate – property, money in bank accounts, and other assets – is passed on in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, as set out in the Will.
Intestacy rules for who will inherit
When there is no Will, or the Will is invalid, things become more complex. The estate will be dealt with under UK intestacy rules as follows:
Married or in a civil partnership with children
The surviving spouse or civil partner can keep everything (including property) up to the value of £270,000 and all personal possessions, whatever their value.
If the estate is worth more than £270,000, the remainder is divided in two, with half going to the spouse/partner and the other half divided between the children.
Married or in a civil partnership with no children
The spouse or civil partner can keep everything. The intestacy rules do not consider any other family members.
Living together but not married or in a civil partnership
If the couple has children, the whole of the estate would go to them, divided equally and inherited at age 18.
If there are no children from the relationship, the estate would pass to the next of kin. That would firstly be the parents, followed by siblings, then grandparents and, lastly, aunts/uncles.
The surviving partner will not inherit anything under intestacy laws.
For some families these will be acceptable scenarios but, for many, the lack of a Will can cause emotional stress and financial hardship at an already difficult time.
Time to make a Will?
RfM Legal Services offers a complete service to ensure the task of making or changing a Will is straightforward and stress-free.
Arrange a free Wills consultation today
- Discuss making a Will or review an existing Will
- At a time and place to suit you – phone and video call appointments available if preferred
- No obligation to act on the advice given
You can also speak to us about putting assets into Trust or making Lasting Powers of Attorney, if required.