Why do 60% of adults not have a Will?

More than half of the adult population of England and Wales do not have a will and have not made any provision for their ones in the event of their death, and a majority of those without a Will are over 55. Most of us know that having a Will is important, so what is it that stops us from making one?

We all lead busy lives, and thinking about our own death can be uncomfortable, but many people also wrongly believe that they don’t need a Will. This might be they are married or because they don’t own property or have children.

However, most people are likely to have some preferences about what should happen to their assets and belongings after their death and a Will is the best way to ensure that those wishes are respected.  Even if you are married, the rules of intestacy – which apply if you don’t have a Will – are complicated and your Estate may not be distributed in the way you expect.

Who inherits if you die without a Will?

The law sets out clear rules about what will happen to your Estate – property, personal possessions, and cash – if you die without a Will. Passing away without a Will is known in legal terms as dying Intestate and the rules that govern the distribution of the Estate in such circumstances is known as the Law of Intestacy.

Under the Administration of Estates Act 1925 the spouse and children do not automatically receive everything in the deceased’s Estate. If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, the spouse is limited to the sum of £322,000 plus personal effects and any accounts held in joint names, with limited interest in only half of the remaining value of the Estate and the rest passing to any children.

The surviving spouse, or civil partner under the Guidelines of the Civil Partnership 2004, can only take the whole estate if there are no surviving children, siblings or parents.

A valid Will can help to prevent conflicts arising after your death

Dying without a will can create much confusion and heartache for the loved ones left behind. A high percentage of inheritance litigation cases involve disputes between relatives following the death of a family member, and these disputes can involve serious legal costs for the Estate or the parties involved. 

A Will can be as simple or as complicated as you like – the important thing is that having a clear, valid Will gives clarity to all your loved ones and can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected.  

Need a Will? We can help.

Whether you need a brand new Will or have an existing Will which you would like to update, our specialist Wills and Estate Planning team can help you to work out what assets you have and how you would like them to be distributed. With many years of experience, we can advise on both simple and complex Estates. If you have a blended family, we can also advise on the best ways to ensure provision for your spouse, children and other loved ones.

To discuss your Will, contact us on enquiries@cartridgeslaw.co.uk or call 01392 256854.