The Probate Department

No Will? The Rules of Intestacy Take Over

No Will? Leave it to the Taxman & Social Services?

Amazingly, research has discovered that more people have failed to take the simple precaution of making a Last Will and Testament than those who have done the right thing.

Over 70% folk under 55 year don’t have a will, say The Law Society. But 64% of older folk say they have an up to date Will.   We would dispute that fact, as the majority of folk have no idea when their Will needs to be updated, or even if they have accidentally cancelled it! That is why we recommend the Will Custodian Ltd Peace of Mind Service to our clients. It is relatively cheap especially compared with the potential disaster of having a lost, cancelled or outdated Last Will.

save-IHTNot having a valid Last Will may mean that Inheritance Tax allowances may be lost or (worse) IHT may have to be paid when a proper Will may have saved all of it.

However, at least half of us have complicated lives these days – being in a “common law marriage” (they don’t exist in legal terms – the spouse has to sue for a share as a single person!) Or perhaps you are remarried and want to ensure your new partner is protected, but your previous children still get something. These things are not easy, and if you run a business, you should most definitely contact our Estate Planning team.

In 2013, around £8 million is thought to have been gifted to the Government accidentally by people who had no valid Last Will which was found. And losing Wills is another story – we wonder how many are found and destroyed by people who don’t like them.. Home storage is hazardous!

Those whose assets might be subject to Inheritance Tax often try to save tax with arrangements which never had a chance of working – please talk to our professional Estate Planning team before attempting homespun IHT planning! £6bn or so is paid to the Taxman in unnecessary Inheritance Tax because people either didn’t realise they had a problem, or didn’t take professional advice.

Apparently, nearly 25% claimed that no Will was necessary, as the right people would benefit automatically!!!

What about under age children?  Most people would rather chose who should look after them if both parents should die, and not leave it to Social Services.  But many have no idea this is what happens.

The moral of this tale is to take Estate Planning seriously, it is NOT just for the wealthy, if is for every adult. And it needs to be reviewed on a regular basis as life, tax and the Law are constantly changing – hence the reference to the Peace of Mind Service. You might care to look at the information on the Rules of Intestacy in England and Wales before you contact us.

Main Inheritance Tax page,   Back to no Will.