What happens if you don't have a Will? | Howells Solicitors
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What happens if you don’t have a Will?

Howells Solicitors

10 Jun, 2020

For many of us, death, or the prospect of death is something they would rather not think about. We know from discussing with our clients that some people are not very comfortable around death – whether it’s thinking about your own or preparing for a loved one’s. For these reasons we put off making a Will.

However, someone will be left with the stress of sorting out your estate and will need to take care of your property and affairs, therefore making a Will should be viewed as a positive.

If you don’t have a Will, your money, property and possessions will be shared out according to the law instead of your wishes.

If you have a Will

By making a Will you will be able to retain some control into what happens to your estate after you have died. For example, you can identify who you would like to administer your estate, make specific gifts for loved ones or appoint guardians for any children under 18.

This means you are deciding where your estate goes, not the Crown. Usually, without a Will, your estate will be left with your next of kin, and if you are estranged from them or have not had the conversation about what you want to happen with your entire estate, what you want to happen may not happen.

If you do not have a Will

If you have not made a Will there are also some common misconceptions about the law in respect of your assets and what happens when you pass away without leaving a Will:

  • There is no definition of common law husband and wife. Unmarried couples, regardless of the time spent living together, are not automatically entitled to any part of their partners estate.
  • Children from a first marriage may not receive anything

Whist professional legal advice can’t stop the inevitable it can help you control what comes before and what happens after. There are benefits you can gain by creating a Will, and seeking legal advice when creating one:

  • It will give you peace of mind knowing your possessions and assets are being left for the ones you intend them to
  • It will allow you to decide who will be in charge of your affairs after you’re gone
  • If you’re unmarried, it will protect your family
  • For those with more complex families, whether this involves 2nd / 3rd marriages and/or children from previous relationships, a Will provides certainty that your wishes will be carried out and no members of your family will not be overlooked
  • You may have to pay Inheritance Tax, but that could be reduced if you seek legal advice
  • A Will makes the whole process of passing away easier for your loved ones to deal with
  • A Will can provide guidance on what specific arrangements are made for your funeral
  • You can protect your assets for future generations in your family with a Property Trust
  • It can protect your digital assets such as photos, websites, online purchases, emails and social media accounts
  • You can even decide what will happen to you pets

Read more with our ‘Why you need a Will‘ article here.

A Will is something everyone should have however making one can be daunting. This is where Howells can come in. We are normal, down to earth people and can support you to create a Will and make special arrangements for your family.

You can email our Wills, Trusts & Probate department to make an appointment at enquiries@howellsllp.com or call us:

Sheffield0114 249 66 66

Barnsley: 0122 680 51 90

Rotherham0170 936 40 00

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