Every year, the treasury claims tens of millions of pounds from people who die without making a will.
Yet despite the fact that most of us would prefer to choose who gets what on the event of our death, still only one in three of us has made a will.
So what is it about making a will that makes us so nervous? Perhaps on some level we feel that if we have not made provision for our death, then it cannot happen. Of course, it can and it does happen – the only difference being that our wishes may not be put into effect, and the people we love may not be provided for.
For example, when you die without making a will:
- If you have no surviving spouse, civil partner or children, your estate will be split between surviving relatives, perhaps quite distant, and if you have no surviving relatives it will all go to the Crown.
- If you are married or in a registered civil partnership and you have no children, your husband, wife or civil partner will not automatically get everything unless you have no surviving parents, siblings, nieces or nephews.
- If you are married or in a registered civil partnership and you do have children, your husband, wife or civil partner will not automatically get everything; some may go to them and some to your children.
- If you are going through divorce proceedings but the divorce is not yet finalised, your ex-spouse may be entitled to some or all of your estate.
- If you have a partner but you are not married or in a registered civil partnership, your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estate. It will go to your blood relatives instead.
Of course, we don’t like to think about our own deaths. But once a will has been executed we can then get on with the job of living, just as before, only with added peace of mind.
Beecham Peacock can advise on all aspects of tax and inheritance planning. For more information or to book an appointment call 0191 2323048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org