On the second day of Christmas – my true love gave to me…A Will

Day 2 of our #12DaysOfChristmas #12DaysOfFamilyLaw blog series discusses Wills. #LetsTalkAboutWills #IfNotNowWhen

It’s probably the last thing that anyone would want under their tree as a present but regrettably 55% of adults in England and Wales don’t have a Will. Not a subject-matter most people are comfortable talking about, but if not now, when? Christmas is undisputedly a time for family and looking after your interests and theirs, should something happen is neither morbid, nor bad taste.

Providing for those you love and care for is possibly the best gift you could give…

When it comes to deciding whether or not you need a Will depends on your personal circumstances. If you die without a Will in place, you die what is termed ‘intestate’. This means that the distribution of your estate will be governed by the laws of intestacy. Below I will set out a simplified explanation of intestacy, it is often not this simple and for the purposes of this blog I am disregarding jointly owned property.

If you are married or in a civil partnership; your estate will be split as follows:

If you have children:

The surviving spouse would receive:

  • The statutory legacy of £270,000;
  • Your household and personal goods; and
  • ½ of the rest.

Your children would share the rest of the estate on the statutory trusts (which means equally at age 18 or earlier if they were to respectively marry).

If you don’t have children, then your entire estate will pass to the surviving spouse.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership then your estate will be split as follows:

  • If you have children or grandchildren – equally on the statutory trusts (see above).
  • If none, then to your parents or the survivor of them in equal shares.
  • If none, then to your brothers or sisters (or their issue) in equal shares.
  • If none, then to your grandparents or the survivor of them in equal shares.
  • If none, to the Crown.

If you are co-habiting with your partner they will inherit nothing from your estate, which will put them at financial risk. By making a Will you will ensure that your partner is looked after on your death.

BLM’s approach to Wills and Estate Planning is not about shoe-horning you in to an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution. Our legal advice presents you with all the options available to you – something unique and individual that is based on your personal circumstances.

If you’d like to speak to me directly to talk about your priorities, then do please get in touch.

To read Day 1 in our 12 Days of Christmas series on self care tips during a divorce, click here

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