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Haywards Heath Office
Stephen Gallico Solicitors
6 Boltro Road
Tel: 01444 411333
6 Linkfield Corner
Tel: 01737 761004
Make a Will or your spouse could suffer and the Treasury benefit
It is perhaps amazing that nearly three out of every five people in Britain do not have a Will. Perhaps what is even more frigthening is the mistaken belief that they hold that if they do not make a Will everything will automatically pass to their spouse. This is simply not the case.
Aged intestacy rules will determine who will receive any money left in your estate if you have not made a Will.
What happens if you have a spouse and children
These rules state that if you have children the maximum amount that your spouse or partner can receive is £250,000. Anything above this sum is split in two, with half put into a trust (from which your spouse can take the interest from it but not the lump sum) and the other half goes directly to the children if they are over 18. If they are not yet 18 the amount due to them will be put into a statutory trust until they turn 18.
What happens if you have a Spouse with no children
If there are no children in your relationship your spouse can receive up to £450,000. The balance above this sum is again divided into two, with half put on trust and the other half going to your parents (if alive), your siblings or their children.
Other complications of dying without a Will
One of the other problems of not making a Will is that once you die all of your assets (including bank accounts) are frozen until a grant of letters of administration is made. This adds to an already stressful and upsetting time as the funeral will need planning and paying for.
If you are living together but are not married or are not in a civil partnership you will have no automatic rights whatsoever. This means that you must have a Will if you want your partner to be benefit from your assets.
In the process of drawing up a Will your solicitor will advise you how to make the best use of any tax allowances to ensure you pay only the minimum amount necessary to the Treasury.
It is vital that you make a Will to ensure that your needs and wishes are met, tax benefits are used, and a considerable amount of stress and worry will be removed for those that you leave your assets to under your Will. It also ensures that the £18 million that went to the Treasury from people dying without Wills and without any family in 2008 will go to a better home.