One of the most important documents you will need to sign during the course of your lifetime is that of a will. A will helps ensure that your possessions, which is referred to legally as your “estate” will be distributed with minimum fuss according to your wishes with little delay.
What happens if I don’t make a will?
If you die without leaving a will the law will decide how your estate is distributed. This may often be contrary to your wishes and will obviously be totally outside of your control. This often leads to disputes and bad blood in families post the death of a loved one. The law which governs how your possessions will be distributed in this situation is called the law of intestacy. The law of intestacy also applies if a will was not signed or if it wasn’t filled out Properly. It will also come into effect if there are possessions missing from the will and if you were deemed not to be in a fit state of mind when you made the will. These are just a few examples of when a will can be deemed invalid.
Without a will, in what way will my estate be distributed?
If you have a spouse/civil partner and no children, your spouse/partner will receive your full estate after debts and expenses are deducted.
If you have a spouse/partner and children, your spouse will get two thirds of your estate and the final third will be divided equally amongst your children.
If you have no spouse/civil partner and no children your state will be divided amongst surviving parents. If your parents are deceased your estate will be divided amongst brothers and sisters. If you are the last surviving sibling or have no brothers and sisters your estate will be divided amongst nieces and nephews.
In the case where you have no relatives the state will receive your entire estate.
How do I ensure intestacy doesn’t happen?
Consult with your trusted solicitor who will provide you with excellent advice in regards drafting a will, appointing an executor, the proper process with regard to witnesses. This will ensure that your will is valid.
A good solicitor will also help you draft a will in order to ensure your wishes are fulfilled in the event of your death, preventing unnecessary squabbles and disputes between friends and family, a legacy that nobody would want to leave behind.

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