Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.

Published: 24th May, 2016

Ilkley based trusts and estates expert Ann Christian, discusses the increase in numbers of those dying without making a will and leaving problems for their families.

Soaring numbers of people are dying without making a will and leaving problems for their families according to national research and this trend is being mirrored in Yorkshire, which is helping increasing numbers of families deal with intestate queries.

A recent YouGov survey revealed that nearly two thirds of the British adult population do not have a will. In addition, Citizens Advice has reported that the number of enquiries it has received about people who have died without making a will has more than doubled in the past five years.

Ann Christian explains: “It’s staggering how many people simply just don’t get round to making a will, even some of the wealthiest people like the pop star Prince, don’t do it. However, everyone should have a properly written will in place and it should be reviewed every few years or whenever there is a major change to family or financial circumstances.

“For property owners and parents, it’s even more important to make sure their assets are divided as they would like, and having a will in place can also help to mitigate inheritance tax.

“Without a will, intestacy rules apply to determine who inherits what. It can take years to sort out and often results in problems arising for those left behind. The rules don’t have any flexibility for different family situations, such as couples that are cohabiting, so loved ones often end up arguing and many will have to resort to legal action to try and resolve disagreements. We’ve seen a surge of these cases in the last decade and the numbers are increasing year on year.”

Ann adds: “Often people attempt to write wills themselves using off the shelf templates but in most cases these are far too basic, can be misinterpreted and fail to answer lots of the questions that will inevitably arise after they die, when it’s too late to do anything about it.

Creating a properly written will doesn’t have to be a long and expensive process but it will definitely give a person peace of mind that their wishes will be met after they die.”

This article just provides an overview of the law in this area. You should talk to our Personal Law team for a complete understanding of how it may affect your particular circumstances.

Call Ann now on 01943 885 782 or email Encoded to arrange a call with the Personal law experts at LCF Law today.