Dying without a will is common. In the UK, approximately two thirds of all people who die don’t leave a will. This means they die intestate, and according to an article in the Guardian, new laws for these situations were introduced on October 1. The changes will not effect those who leave assets of less than £250,000, but those who leave a larger estate will be affected.
Where does the unclaimed money go?
The new rules are very complex and using the services of a solicitor is advisable.
Getting a will written up is becoming more important than ever due to the fact that more people own their own property and with house prices on the increase, thousands of people will have substantial assets to leave behind when they die. Having a basic legal will can make a huge difference to any family that you leave behind, saving them going to court and also stopping any of your assets going to the state. Approximately £76 million was taken from unclaimed assets in 2013 according to the BBC website.
Making a will
Many people think that making a will is going to cost them a fortune in solicitor’s fees and complicated paperwork, but you can obtain a basic will kit from most stationers. The problem with these can be the fact that they are not always set out properly and if you don’t have the correct amount of witness signatures then the will can become invalid, making life harder for any family that is left behind. If you are a partner rather than in a legal union, ‘common law partners still have absolutely no protection, while the children of married partners may find they are in line for less than they thought.’ Co-habitees don’t have an automatic right to inherit their partner’s estate.
Dying without a will: complications
Families can be complicated at the best of times but when it comes to a member of your family dying, things can get even more complex. Not leaving a will means that the deceased can’t name who will benefit from their estate or who the executors of their estate will be. These problems are multiplied if the deceased had a business. Questions about ownership, tax and other obligations will arise. Children are always an important consideration if a will has not been made, a court will decide how much they will receive at the age of 18 years of age and also what property they will receive.
Who will receive your money?
Dying without a will will mean the money will automatically go to your nearest relative, wife, children, brothers, sisters or parents, but if you are alone and have no family or close friends then the money will go to the crown or treasury. Leaving a will means that all of your hard earned money will go to whoever or wherever you want it to go, whether it’s a charity or a local community project. At least you will be assured that your final wishes will be fulfilled.