It’s easy to make a will – and it will save your family unnecessary distress at an already difficult time.
A will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a will the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.
What happens if you don’t leave a Will?
If you don’t have a valid will when you die, this is called intestacy or dying intestate.
Your money, property and possessions will be shared out according to the law instead of your wishes. This can mean they pass to someone you had not intended – or that someone you want to pass things on to ends up with nothing.
The law about exactly who gets what is different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but there are some common problems wherever you live.
When you die without leaving a will, the law decides who gets what and how much.
It does not matter what your relationship with those people was like when you were alive.
By leaving a will that says clearly who should get your property and money when you die, you can prevent unnecessary distress at an already difficult time for your family or friends.
Some parents have had to sue their own children to get a share of their partner’s estate when their unmarried partner dies.
The law says that in this situation the children get everything.