Over 50% of UK adults do not have a will, which is a surprising statistic. It is also extremely risky as those who die without a Will are subject to Intestacy. Intestacy can prove adequate for some. But for the unwary, the results can be surprising. For example, in England, only married or civil partners and particular close relatives can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy, although the power lies predominantly with the widow(er) and not the parents or siblings of the deceased. However, common law husbands or wives are not entitled to anything under the Rules of Intestacy, whilst spouses that have separated informally and have not legally divorced are still entitled to inherit.
The Government has rejected the Law Commission’s recommendation that unmarried couples should be treated in the same way once they have been living together for a set period of time. This means that millions of co-habiting couples in the UK have no legal right when it comes to Intestacy. Therefore, in the majority of situations a will (and an up-to-date will) is the only way for you to safeguard your estate and guarantee who inherits your estate when you are no longer here.
Check out the Government’s resource on Intesacy to see who will inherit your estate if you do not make a will.
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Source: Lightspeed Research