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‘Wills’ are written instructions about who will get your property when you die.  

You can also appoint someone in a Will to look after your children if you

die before they are 18.

 

To be valid, a Will has to comply with rules that were first written in 1837

and updated only a little since then!

 

It is very important to make sure that your Will is valid to avoid arguments after your death.

 

Why Make a Will?

 

If you die without having made a Will the Law decides who can share your property and deal with your affairs. Dying without a valid will is called intestacy or dying intestate.  

 

  • There is a fixed order of entitlement and it cannot be changed

  • People often assume that, if they have no Will, everything will pass to their spouse or partner. This is not always the case.

  • Under the ‘intestacy rules’ only property up to a certain value passes automatically to your spouse. If your estate includes a house in your sole name, it is possible that the value of this would exceed the amount which your spouse would automatically receive.

  • If you hold property in joint names with another person it may pass automatically to that person upon your death – with or without a Will. You might not want that to happen and the terms of your joint ownership would need to be checked

  • If you have a partner but are not married or legally civil partners, that partner has no right to your property should you die.

  • If you have no close family, the costs incurred in tracing very distant relatives can be high.

  • You can make sure that you leave property to your family in a ‘tax efficient manner’.

  • Step-Children would not benefit under an intestacy.

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