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The importance of making a Will

View profile for Ceri Philpott
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The importance of making a Will – Frequently asked questions

According to a recent YouGov survey, nearly two thirds of the British adult population do not have a Will. This is a shocking and worrying statistic considering the sometimes devastating implications that can be caused by someone not making a Will.

Even if you consider that you have little money or possessions, it is still important to make a Will because of the following factors:-

  1. What happens if you die intestate i.e. without a Will?

Any money, property or possessions that you own at the date of death will be distributed as per the Intestacy rules. The Intestacy rules dictate the order of priority in which your Estate will be distributed. This could mean that someone who you would not have included within a Will could inherit some or all of your Estate.

  1. What if you and your partner are not married?

You cannot inherit from each other if you die without a Will. This could therefore have a devastating impact on a surviving partner, not only emotionally but financially too.

  1. Is it possible to reduce the inheritance tax paid?

It may be possible to reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable if advice is sought and a Will is made.

  1. What if you have a child or children?

You should consider appointing a testamentary guardian i.e. someone who you trust to care for your child or children if you die.

  1. What if you have recently separated from your spouse?

If you are not yet divorced, your spouse takes first priority under the Intestacy rules and therefore would inherit from your Estate if you die without a Will.

  1. Do I need to update my Will?

If you have made a Will in the past, then it is important that you review your Will every few years particularly if there has been a change in circumstances. For example, if you have got married or if you have separated from a partner. In some situations, such as marriage and remarriage then it is possible that the Will may be cancelled by that marriage and the rules of Intestacy could then apply. It is therefore very important that you seek further advice in relation to your Will in these circumstances.

According to statistics obtained by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau there has been an increase in queries relating to problems caused by intestacy:-

2013 - 2,626

2014 - 3,500

2015 - 3,747

At hpjv solicitors we have seen an increase in people seeking advice from us due to issues caused by a loved one dying without a Will.

Although it is not essential to have a Will prepared by a solicitor, we see too often the mistakes that have been made by those who are not aware of the essential elements that need to be contained within a Will. 

At hpjv solicitors we have the experience in the preparation of Wills in all types of circumstances and can provide you with the expert advice and assistance you require when preparing your Will. We offer a first consultation free and if you are considering planning for the future then you need only contact one of our friendly members of staff who will be more than happy to assist you.