No Will Puts Family Finances at Risk
13 December 2017
What Happens if You Die Without Making a Will?
If you die without having a valid Will in place, then the law will decide who should inherit what from you. This is determined under the Rules of Intestacy, which put your relatives into a set order of priority. These rules are strict and do not acknowledge unmarried partners or step-children, so you could find that some of your loved ones would be set to inherit nothing from you.
This can result in arguments between family members who don’t feel that your Estate is being distributed in the way that you would have wanted. Families can become divided and can become entangled in very costly legal disputes over the distribution of your Estate.
Why Do Many People Not Make a Will?
Some people believe that their friends and family will be able to decide between them who should inherit what, but in reality these decisions are taken out of the family’s hands entirely. Others may feel that they are too young and healthy to worry about making a Will.
Making a Will is often thought to be a complicated and lengthy process, which is another reason why many people may choose to put it off until another day.
This was the case for Linda and Chris Bridgeman, who instructed Co-op Legal Services to rewrite their Wills earlier this year. They had been meaning to update their Wills for some time, after the arrival of 3 grandchildren and a house move had meant their previous Wills were no longer a true reflection of their wishes.
After using Co-op Legal Services’ online Will writing service, Linda said, “We put off sorting our Wills for such a long time because we thought it would be costly and time-consuming. But we now wish we had done it earlier.”
The Risks of a Poorly Written Will
Some people may choose to draft their Will themselves with a DIY Will kit as this can appear to be a cheaper option than having a Will drafted professionally. However, if you’re considering taking this route then it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. You will need to ensure that the document is legally valid and that it states your wishes clearly, otherwise your Estate might not be distributed in the way that you had hoped.
A Will is a legally binding document which has to be worded in a specific way, and as a result a poorly written Will can be just as problematic as not having a Will in place at all. If a Will hasn’t been drafted in the correct way, meaning that the wishes of the person have not been made completely clear, then this can cause significant issues after the person’s death.
If there is any uncertainty on what the person’s intentions really were, then it could be up to the Court to decide what they believe the person wanted. This process can be long-winded, complicated and very expensive. And there’s no guarantee that the Court’s decision will be the right one at the end of it.
Our Head of Wills, Solicitor James Antoniou was recently quoted in ThisisMoney, explaining the potential repercussions of not having a Will drafted properly.
The best way to ensure that nothing is left open to interpretation is to have your Will drafted by a professional Will writer. At Co-op Legal Services we make Will writing easy with transparent, fixed cost pricing, telephone appointments at a time that suits you, and free, secure storage of your Will for the rest of your life.