If a person dies without making a Will the law of intestacy is very specific as to who will inherit the estate.
For married couples it will be the value of the estate that would determine how the estate is to be divided, especially if the deceased had assets in their sole name. If the assets are over £250,000 then the survivor will receive the first £250,000 together with interest and half the remainder absolutely. Any children will get the other half. Any joint assets would pass by survivorship to the spouse of the deceased.
Only recently advice was given to a client that she would need to make a claim against her partner’s estate as it was the deceased’s son from a previous relationship who was the sole beneficiary of the estate under the rules of intestacy.
For some with no close family members their estate could end up being divided between distant family members they may not want to inherit or members they hadn’t even met during their lifetime.
It is devastating enough when you lose a partner but to be told you do not automatically inherit can be an added blow that could have been easily avoided!
Making a Will can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that in the event of your death your wishes will be carried out and the people you want to look after will be the ones that do indeed benefit.