It’s easy to imagine that things will fall into place when you pass away and your money will naturally reach the right people. This common misassumption means that more than half (57%) of the UK with financial concerns for others do not have a Will in place, according to new research*.
So, it may come as a nasty shock to many that intestacy rules offer little protection and, without a Will, family finances can be left open to challenge when an individual passes away. Even if you trust people to ‘do the right thing’ after you’re gone, the legal system provides little flexibility to allow them to do this.
Intestacy rules provide protection only to those married or in a civil partnership. They guarantee that the remaining partner receives all the deceased’s personal items and their estate, or – if they had children or grandchildren – their estate up to the value of £270,000, plus half the excess over £270,000**.
When someone dies without a Will, they die intestate, and their estate is usually administered by the next of kin. The administrator is unable to divide the estate up as they wish and must instead stick to the UK intestacy rules. Without a Will, cohabitees in particular risk not automatically inheriting anything on the death of their partner unless they jointly own property.
Making a Will is the easiest and safest way to ensure your money is passed on to the right people. Considering making one should always be the first step in any financial planning.