Making a Will provides you with an opportunity to choose who your beneficiaries will be. Of course there are some exceptions to this, but in general a Testator (person making a Will) is able to decide whom they wish to benefit from their estate.
When a person passes away without leaving a Will, or the Will they have made is invalid, they have died intestate and their estate is administered under the default Rules of Intestacy.
The Rules of Intestacy dictates; how an estate will be distributed, who will inherit and in what proportions. Here is a link to the government website which will allow you to calculate how your estate would be administered under the Rules of Intestacy:-
Leaving your estate to be administered under the Rules of Intestacy is not ideal and can create extra work for your loved ones.
Ensuring that you take appropriate advice estate planning advice and making a Will that suits your individual needs can:-
Speed up the administration process and in some cases remove the need to obtain what is known as the Grant of Probate- which is the formal legal authority that Executors are required to obtain before they can dispose of certain assets.Provide clarity as to the Testator’s wishes.Reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax owed on an estate.Provide certainty for beneficiaries- This is particularly useful for extended families with children from previous relationships.Deal with foreign assets or issues over domicile.Make appropriate provision for disabled beneficiaries.
Seeking legal advice can bring to the fore other areas of your overall future planning, which may need to be reviewed, and affords you the opportunity to take an more holistic approach discussing matters in a timescale that suits you.
Why not make an appointment to discuss your later life planning with a member of our Private Client team.