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Protecting your assets
Understand how your hard earned assets could be at risk to various risks such as the divorce and bankruptcy of your beneficiaries.Read more >
20 May 2015
Lasting powers of attorney
Your bank accounts could be frozen in the event of an accident or long term illness. Your family could be left in extreme hardship regardles...Read more >
18 May 2015
Creditors and bankruptcy
Understand how you can shelter your assets from your beneficiaries creditors.Read more >
12 May 2015
The importance of making a Will
The vast majority of people put off making a Will for a variety of reasons, either believing that the people they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or because they don't think it is relevant to them at this particular time.
The reality is that you can put off making a Will until it is too late and this poses all sorts of problems for the people left behind and could mean that some or all of your inheritance either goes to the wrong person or to the state.
Affording you peace of mind
Firstly and most importantly is the peace of mind making a Will provides.
Making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your property (estate) following your demise. This ensures that those you would like to benefit actually do so, in accordance with your wishes and at the same time avoiding any possible disputes between relatives.
Who needs to make a Will?
The answer is everyone. In particular, anyone with dependant relatives, (children under the age of 18, elderly relatives or relatives with a disability who have special needs), anyone who owns property or has any type of asset which you would wish relatives, friends and charities to benefit from.
But won't everything go to my husband / wife / civil partner / parents / children etc automatically?
This is a common misconception and dependant on the size of your estate, there are set rules which will be applied to determine who inherits and how much if you do not make a Will.
So what happens if I don't make a Will?
This is called dying 'intestate'. The intestacy rules set out who is entitled to inherit from your estate if you do not leave a valid Will. If you do not leave a Will your money and possessions will be distributed according to the intestacy rules laid down in the Administration of Estates Act 1925. If you have no relatives the Crown is entitled to take everything.
If you are married, or in a civil partnership, the first person entitled to your estate under the intestacy rules is your spouse / civil partner, but he or she will not necessarily inherit the whole of your estate. (The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5 December 2005 and gave same-sex couples the right to register their partnerships, giving them broadly the same legal rights as married couples.)
The amount your spouse / civil partner would inherit depends on how much is in your estate and which of your blood relatives survive you. Assets held in joint names usually pass automatically to the other joint owner(s) and do not form part of your estate (if you are unsure about the type of joint ownership you share with another, you should consider taking legal advice).
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