Will the Spouse’s Statutory Legacy be all you get?

General, Wills

The law of Intestacy is what happens to your estate when you die without a valid Will in place; the point I am making here is that your Will (or even part of it) could be deemed invalid, so choosing a competent Will-writer is an important consideration.

So what does the surviving spouse get after losing their partner? The allowances were increased on 01/02/2009 but still fall a long way short of where they ought to be, for instance the allowance for a widower who has children increased by 100% since 1993 whereas house prices went up 229% in the same period. Even more worrying is that the changes may now encourage even more people to overlook the perils of Intestacy. With only around 1 in?4 British people making a Will, the intestacy nightmare hasn?t gone away, the main problem is that it tries to address the competing interests of many different people, in many different family and financial circumstances in an attempt to be everything to everyone, instead they end up being nothing to anyone.

Here are 10 reasons why you really should?avoid Intestacy:

  1. If you are cohabiting but not married, intestacy will leave you stranded on the death of your partner. The law neither recognises you, nor makes any financial provision for you no matter how long you have been together. Your partner?s estate would pass to their children and then, if there are no children, to your partner?s parents, then siblings and other relatives in a specified order.
  2. Step children are not provided for under intestacy legislation
  3. There is no provision for charities when a?person dies intestate
  4. Non-family members (e.g. friends) will not be entitled to any gifts
  5. With second marriages, there is no provision for the first spouse?s family, when the surviving spouse dies
  6. You are unable to appoint guardians who could handle your children?s emotional, physical and financial needs should you pass away during their childhood
  7. Choosing not to make a Will leaves you unable to make provision for a flexible trust that can manage assets on behalf of young or vulnerable beneficiaries
  8. Dying intestate leaves a tangled web of delays, difficulties, confusion and emotional upset at the very time when distress and grief are already at their highest
  9. By making a Will you get to choose your Executors, rather than leaving the uncertainty for your family and/or friends
  10. You will save far more money in professional fees later on by having a Will in place than you will by avoiding the cost of actually setting one up now

In short the spouse?s statutory legacy (through there being an intestacy) leaves expectant beneficiaries short-changed, so there is no better time to put your own affairs in order than now, and by using a specialist Will-writer you will get the service and reassurance you need to know that it has been set up properly – and at a realistic price!

If you would like help putting a Will together then simply call the author, Rob Abell on tel. 0116-2784862 or contact us for more information.

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