Surrey solicitors in Guildford, Stockport
Why Everyone Needs a Will
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For further information on drawing up a Will, including our One
Hour Will Service, contact on 01483 6656621
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WILLS & TAX PLANNING - Why Everyone Needs a Will
Simple Will Service
Without a Will your estate will be distributed under the Administration of Estates Act commonly known as the ‘Intestacy Rules’.  This sets out the order in which family members benefit from your estate. If you have no relations that qualify your estate goes to the Treasury.
Under these rules a surviving spouse is only entitled to your belongings and the first £250,000 of your estate, one half will be held for the children on attaining the age of 18, and your spouse will be entitled to the income from the other half for his or her life.  On the surviving spouse’s death that other half will be distributed to the children. These rules apply to property in your sole name or held as tenants in common but not property held as joint tenants.
If there were no surviving children then the surviving spouse is entitled to the personal belongings and the first £450,000 of the deceased’s estate.  Other relatives of the deceased (such as brothers and sisters) would be entitled to a share of the balance even though the deceased may have had no intention that they should benefit.
If your property is held as joint tenants it will automatically pass to the survivor on your death. This means it will automatically pass to the other joint owner. If you do not want it to pass to the other joint owner you need to own the property as tenants in common and make provision in your Will to ensure your share of the property passes to the people you want to benefit from it.
Without provision in your Will a co-habitee (sometimes known as a common law partner) has no entitlement to the estate of the deceased (apart from jointly owned property) and could be faced at a time of considerable distress with having to bring costly proceedings in Court to claim against your estate. The average cost of this type of claim is over £20,000.
  • A Will can be used to incorporate tax planning measures to reduce the liability to inheritance tax.
  • If you have infant children you can appoint guardians in your Will to look after their affairs until they are adults. They would work closely with your executors. You can appoint the person you want to deal with your estate as executor.
  • If you want to leave something to friends, other relations, or charity you need to draw up a Will.
If any of these circumstances apply to you then you should make a Will.  Please remember that until the Will is made in a proper legal form your wishes, however otherwise expressed by you in your lifetime, are NOT binding.
 
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