Making a will let’s you be clear about your wishes, giving you peace of mind and helping to avoid family disputes later. A well designed will can make everything as easy as possible for your family at what will no doubt be a very difficult time for them.
Dying without a valid will
If you die without a valid will in place then your estate will be passed on in accordance with the rules of intestacy. Only married or civil partners and certain other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.
The following people have no right to inherit under the rules of intestacy:
unmarried partners (sometimes wrongly called ‘common-law’ partners)
lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership
relations by marriage
So if you are unmarried and die without a valid will you could leave your partner homeless. They get no access to your money, no matter how long you have been together. Other unfortunate consequences of dying intestate might include:
The courts may choose different guardians for your children if your specific wishes are not documented
There may be disputes over the ownership of your business
Others may claim on your estate, creating costs and delays
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate will writing or inheritance tax planning.
Making a will is an act of compassion for those you leave behind
A will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a will the process can be more time consuming, stressful, and potentially argumentative.
Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family such as close friends or charities.
A will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the estate you leave behind.
If you have property you need a will. It will likely change over time but wills are meant to be reviewed as circumstances change. If you have children, get divorced, marry somebody who already has their own children, or have other significant life changes then it is likely you will need to update your will to ensure your wishes remain clear.
Radcliffe & Newlands do not offer a will writing service but can refer you to a solicitor for this purpose.
Deal with family issues now for peace of mind
Confronting issues from the past can be extremely uncomfortable and even a flash point for current relationships. While issues with a blended family, past relationships, a special needs child, addicted family member, or more can seem unresolvable, there are solutions. Wills can be tailored to deal with these more complex or delicate family dynamics with sensitivity for the benefit of all concerned.
Speak to an adviser who will assess your objectives, current position, and help you plan a course of action. It’s also an opportunity for you to get to know us before deciding to engage our services. You can ask as many questions as you need. Your first meeting with us where we will discuss the ways in which we might help you is free of charge. Contact us today to book an appointment.
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When Jimi Hendrix passed away without a will in 1970, his $80 million estate estate fell to his father, Al Hendrix. Thus began a chain of events leading to sibling legal battles and $ 1.7 million lawsuit.
When Al Hendrix died in 2002, the bad blood began to boil between his children and Jimi’s siblings, Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s adopted sister and younger brother, Leon Hendrix. Al, in his will, left Jimi’s estate to be under the sole control of Janie Hendrix, the adopted daughter. That had to cause extreme resentment with Leon being Al’s blood son.
Nonetheless, Janie was the operator of the Jimi Hendrix’s estate through Al Hendrix’s wishes. In 2004, Leon Hendrix contested his father’s will with the Washington State Supreme Court. The court upheld the will in 2007. Years later, the Hendrix estate and Jimi’s brother are still sorting out those issues in the same court where their legal tussle began.