It is a common assumption that only those with complex affairs or great wealth need to make a will. This is simply not the case. It is the only way you can make sure your property and savings go to those you wish to benefit.
By making a will you can state to whom you want your possessions to pass and, in the case of children, at what age they can have control of their finances. If they are very young, you can nominate trustees who would be charged with administering their inheritance on your death.
Failure to make a Will
If you do not make a will, the state has the power to make decisions on your behalf. Your property and savings will pass to your next of kin, who will be determined by the law.
Your assets will, therefore, pass to a spouse if there is one (regardless of whether you are separated) or your children. If they are under the age of 18, their shares will be tied up until they are adults. If you have no children, then parents benefit and so on. It is possible for your partner to make a claim on your estate. However this is likely to involve lengthy and costly litigation that can be avoided by making a will.
What if your home is in both your names…
If your home is in both your names, it will pass automatically to your partner, providing you are ‘joint tenants’. This is the most common way of owning a property together.
It is possible, however, that you are ‘tenants in common’. This means that you each have an individual share (it does not have to be equal), which upon your death, will pass through your estate to your next of kin.
If you are uncertain how the ownership of your property is structured, it is advised you contact a solicitor.
Making a will is a simple process and does not cost a great deal. You can book an initial FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our Will specialists by calling 0114 218 4000, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling in this form.