If you die without a Will in place then you are said to be ‘intestate’ and the laws of the land will decide what happens to your estate.

In England and Wales it would be usual for an executor to be appointed for a fee. The Executor will then follow procedures set out by the State. In most cases, if there is no will, your current spouse will inherit everything. If your estate is more than £250,000 then the spouse will get the first £250,000, plus a "life interest" in half of the remainder, and the rest will be shared by any children.

If you don't have a spouse then your estate will be shared between your children. If there is no spouse and no children, then the estate will go to the parents first, then any siblings, then grandparents, then uncles and aunts. If none of these relatives survive you and you haven't made a will you entire estate will go to the Crown.

Your children will likely become wards of the state and go into care if you have not appointed guardians in a Will. Any shares in a business you own could, potentially, go to the state and your former business partners might suddenly find they have strangers running the business they part own!

Not having a Will is not a good idea. Despite this, 1 in 3 people do not have a Will.

For more information see our Wills and Estate Planning page or speak to an adviser on 01628 507477.


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