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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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Wills & Probate / Wills