If you die without a Will your estate is distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. The Rules of Intestacy state who will inherit your property when you are gone. The Rules were created back in 1925 and do not reflect the diversity of our current relationships and don’t make provisions for unmarried partners, step children and friends.
It's not easy to think what would happen to your children if you were to die. However a Will can give you the peace of mind of knowing that they'd be protected and cared for.
Apart from your partner, children or stepchildren, you may want to provide for others in your Will including friends, vulnerable or disabled loved ones or even pets.
Taking care of loved ones who are mentally or physically disadvantaged is a particularly important responsibility. You can protect vulnerable loved ones by leaving clear instructions in your Will, so you know that they’ll be properly taken care of.
Many people wish to leave money to their favourite charity, and make this known in their Will.
Unfortunately not every family gets on and sometimes rifts will mean that you won’t want a particular person in your close family to benefit from your property and possessions when you’re gone.
Although it may be difficult to accept, it is possible that you might become unable to understand situations or communicate your own thoughts because of an illness or an accident. This could have wide-ranging implications for you and your family.
Put simply, your ‘estate’ is the total value of all your property and possessions after any debts that you owe are paid. So once your debts are paid, what’s left is your estate which contains all the assets you can pass to your loved ones either under your Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.
Currently, the maximum amount anyone can leave without having to pay Inheritance Tax (on death) is £325,000. Writing an appropriate Will during your lifetime could legitimately reduce the impact inheritance tax has upon your estate.