Where there’s a Will there’s a way, so the saying goes.
But where there isn’t one, there could be chaos.
If you die without making a Will, your money, property and possessions could be shared out according to the law instead of to your loved ones.
That means your legacy could pass to someone you never intended to benefit (even the Government), while the people that you wanted to inherit end up with nothing.
Yet more than half of all adults in the UK haven’t written a Will with recent figures showing that 68 per cent of 35-54-year-olds could die ‘intestate’.
Even among those over 55s, 36 per cent don’t have a Will.
So, let’s just consider this case study.
- Paul and Samantha have been married for 25 years, their home is owned in joint names and they have two children Alice and George.
- The couple haven’t made a Will, and when Samantha dies suddenly, Paul inherits the house as it was owned in joint names.
- A short time later, Paul meets Mary who has two children, Mark and Simon, from a previous relationship, and remarries, but again they do not get around to making a Will.
- When Paul dies from a heart attack, Mary inherits the house and the rest of his estate as they are married.
Again, she has no Will, so when she dies HER children Mark and Simon can then inherit the estate. But Paul and Samantha’s children Alice and George are left with NOTHING.
This shows how, by not making a Will, you can store up problems which can lead to bitterness and recriminations.
However, if Paul and Samantha had made a Will in the first place, it could have ensured that Alice and George inherited a fair share of the estate after both their parents had died.
There is a real-life example of how not having a Will can lead to heartache, bitterness and a costly legal wrangle.
After pop star Prince died in April 2016, no Will was found and the legal battle over his estimated £153 million legacy is continuing two years later.
Following his death more than 45 people filed claims against the estate, with a judge finally ruling in 2017 that Prince’s sister and five half-siblings were the legal heirs. But now three of the heirs have filed a petition to review the billing practices of the law firm handing the administration of the estate claiming they are draining the musician’s bank account. And it is not the first petition filed against the law firm – one has already been rejected but in the process costing the estate thousands of pounds.
This highlights the importance of making a Will to make sure your wishes are followed after your death and the right people benefit from your legacy.
To discuss your Will and to ensure your legacy is protected, contact us on 01952 305105 or 07786 548025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org