Why do I need a Will?

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Why do I need a Will?

A will is extremely important even if you believe you have nothing of real financial value to leave your family members.

You should have a will if you have children under the age of 18.

If you do not state in your will that you want little Tommy to be taken care of by your sister Debbie, then little Tommy could be placed into care and which family member he is placed with is decided by the courts.

You MUST have a will if you have children or family members that may depend on you for financial support too.

A will is particularly important if you want to leave your family with as little stress as possible at a time of loss.  Not many people are aware of what happens if you die and do not have a will in place.

  • You can bequeath certain items to specific family members.
  • It can reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on property or monies that you leave behind.
  • It will advise who you have made executor (the person who will handle the distribution of your possessions and assets).
  • It will advise whether you want to be buried or cremated.
  • It can contain your wishes in respect of your funeral arrangements.

What happens if I don’t have a will and I die intestate?

  • The Government decides who will receive, if anything, from your estate and they will calculate how much.
  • Delays will occur with administering your estate.  This is because the Government give family members six months to make claims against your estate.
  • If you are living with a partner and are not married, your partner is at risk of receiving nothing from your estate and they could be forced to live elsewhere.
  • Your children may not inherit any part of your estate.
  • Your children could be placed in care until a court decides who should look after them.

What are the five threats against your estate?

  1. Inheritance Tax

2. Remarriage

3. Divorce of Beneficiaries

4. Long Term Care

5. Incapacity

What happens when someone dies and they have a will?

Follow this step by guide:

A close family member or executor of the will should do the following:

  1. Apply for a medical certificate of the deceased from their GP.
  2. Register the death.  To do this click here.
  3. Arrange the funeral with a local funeral director.
  4. The executor now needs to apply for a grant of representation. If more than one is named, list all executors on the PA1 form. This gives you the legal right to apply for access to the deceased persons bank account and it will give you authority to deal with the deceased persons property.
  5. You can apply to do this yourself or through a solicitor.
    1. Download and complete a probate application form (PA1).
    2. Download and complete an inheritance tax form.  If any tax to pay click here.  If no tax to pay, click here.
  6. Send the application to your local Probate Registry.
  7. The Probate Registry will send an Oath to you (or the person listed on the PA1).
  8. You must take this to a local Wills and Probate solicitor and swear an oath.

What happens when someone dies without a will?

Property and possessions will need to go to the deceased persons next of kin in this order:

  1. Living husband, wife or civil partner.
  2. Living children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.
  3. Living parents.
  4. Brothers or sisters.

Follow this step by guide:

  1. As a family member in direct relation to the deceased (in the above order), you can apply for a grant of representation (probate). This gives you the legal right to apply for access to the deceased persons bank account and it will give you authority to deal with the deceased persons property.
  2. You can apply to do this yourself or through a solicitor.
  3. Download and complete a probate application form (PA1).
  4. Download and complete an inheritance tax form online.  If any tax to pay click here.  If no tax to pay click here.
  5. Send the application to your local Probate Registry.
  6. The Probate Registry will send an Oath to you (or the person listed on the PA1).
  7. You must take this to a local Wills and Probate solicitor and swear an oath.

To find out who is entitled to a share of a deceased persons property and assets click here.