There are a few common misconceptions about making a Will. Here, I clarify some of the most common ones.
“The intestacy laws take care of it all…”
Without a valid Will, the intestacy laws dictate how your estate is distributed. An intestate’s surviving spouse/civil partner receives £250,000,all personal goods and a life interest in half the balance left over. The deceased’s children share the other half at adulthood plus the surviving spouse/civil partners half when he or she dies. This would be very unusual to do this in a Will, not least ,because children do not benefit from an inheritance tax exemption as spouses/civil partners do.
“My common law spouse will inherit the lot!”
Contrary to popular belief “common law spouse” is not a recognized legal term..
Co-habitees and unmarried partners do not have an automatic right to inherit from someone’s estate upon death. That means they might claim against your estate and the value would be reduced by expensive and stressful litigation.
“My affairs are not complicated so why bother?”
With rises in divorces, second or even third marriages and children from previous relationships, a family’s personal affairs are getting more and more complicated. Many people are unaware that marriage revokes a Will !
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