New Year, New You, New Will
11 January 2016 by James Bird
With the festivities of 2015 having come to an end, a new year has begun and with this comes the New Years resolutions. Some may set their hearts on losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle whilst others may look to resolutions such as focusing on their careers and taking any opportunity that arises. Many have heard of stories where people have set their mind to tasks such as these and their commitment has only lasted until the end of the month, or even less than that at times. However, one resolution which many should be making is that of making a Will.
Recently hitting the headlines is the story of Eastender’s star Gillian Taylforth who unfortunately lost her ex-fiancé of 23 years to stomach cancer in November 2013. Despite having two children and being in a long term relationship with him, Gillian did not receive anything from his estate as he had failed to make a Will. Instead his estate passed under the intestacy rules which guide how an estate is distributed on the death of someone who does not have a Will. Since Gillian was not married to her partner she received nothing and instead it all passed to their two children. We cannot be sure whether there had been an intention for the estate to pass to Gillian but without a Will expressly stating that this was to happen, the law dictated where the assets went.
Whilst the estate passing to the children may not have been such a bad thing in this instance, not everyone will be in similar circumstances. Some people may pass without a Will and without any close immediate family. In these instances their estate could pass to some fairly distant relatives which may not have been the deceased’s intentions. Alternatively, if there has been a breakdown in the relationship between family members then under the intestacy rules, a relative could inherit which could go against the wishes of the deceased. Clearly it would be better for everyone to have a Will – both to give reassurance in respect of where assets will go after death and also to make the process of administering the estate easier for those involved afterwards.
Time and time again you will hear people say they intend to make a Will, or even worse they don’t think they should have a Will yet because they are not “old enough” to justify making one. Currently 1 in 3 people pass away in the UK without a Will. For something which can provide piece of mind for the foreseeable future in exchange for only a few hours, making sure you have a Will should be a simple resolution which anyone can keep in 2016.
If you need a new Will or feel its time to review you current one, please do get in touch with the team today on 01206 835261 or email us at [email protected] . Alternatively you can also find additional information on our website.