In the last five years the number of enquiries to Citizen’s Advice regarding people who have died without making a Will has doubled, according to a recent YouGov report. In 2011, Citizen’s Advice recorded 1,522 enquiries from people struggling with intestacy issues. This number rose to 3,747 in 2015 – a reflection of the fact that around two thirds of British adults admit to having not made a Will. The report shows that Citizen’s Advice is also receiving increasing enquiries about executing Wills – in the same five year period the number rose by around a third: from 8,160 to 11,137.
Intestacy rules dictate how a person’s estate is allocated if they die without making a Will, but this does not automatically mean that a person’s partner or family will inherit. Unmarried couples and step-children are not protected by intestacy rules, and if there are no surviving relatives, the estate will pass to the Crown. The legal processes of dividing the estate of someone without a Will can be long, stressful and difficult for those already going through bereavement, which is why it’s so important to make arrangements for the future.
An up-to-date, professional Will should include all aspects of your estate and assets, including property, finances, and any individual items you’d like to bequeath to family and friends and family. If you have children or dependents, you should also name the people you would like to look after them in the event of your death. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on handling and distributing your finances, how to minimise inheritance tax, and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
Tags: making a will, wills and probate