It is interesting to note that over 70% of the UK population does not have a current Will. If a person dies without making a Will they have died “Intestate”. The law sets out which beneficiaries inherit. It is a common misconception that if a husband or wife dies intestate that all their estate passes to their surviving spouse. In fact the statutory legacies in respect of intestate estates have not been changed for many years and if children or vulnerable adults are involved people can not change the intestacy rules without applying to Court. If a person makes a Will it ensures that their wishes are carried out and that their property and assets will pass in accordance with their wishes and not in accordance with the intestacy rules imposed by the Government.
A Will guides those who are left behind and saves worry and heartache at a time of great emotional stress. Making a Will is usually the first step to take in structuring your affairs in order to minimise your liability for Inheritance Tax. Our services include advice on gifts to members of your family, friends and charities. We advise on who should be named the Executors and Trustees of the Will and whether guardians should be appointed for infant children. We also ensure that you are aware of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 so that when you make your Will we advise you on how to avoid claims against your estate under that legislation and how to protect assets against third party claims in the future and to protect vulnerable beneficiaries. We draft Wills in such a way to avoid partial intestacy.
It is important that you consider your Wills every five years because your individual circumstances can change drastically both with regard to family members and your relationships and your assets.
To discuss any of the above further, please contact Judith Burke on judithB@francisandco.wales or direct line 01291 637807