The intestacy rules are rules set by the government which determine who will inherit from an estate when the deceased left no Will. In some cases, an individual’s wishes might the same as set out by the intestacy rules and we often get asked what the point of making a Will is if their wishes are the same.
Summarised below are some points to show the benefits of making a Will and why you shouldn’t leave your estate to fall into the realms of the intestacy rules.
- A Will can provide for things such as whether the deceased wished to be buried or cremated. This will allow family members to know exactly what they wanted and as a result there is no confusion or arguments if any family members disagree with each other.
- A Will can appoint guardians for children under the age of 18.
- A Will can specify pecuniary legacies (gifts of money) to chosen charities or individuals.
- A Will can specify gifting specific items for example things such as jewellery. This will avoid any arguments or special items having to be sold to share the sale proceeds.
- It’s often a relief for family to know there is a Will to follow so they know the estate is being distributed as intended and not just because they must distribute in accordance with the intestacy rules because no Will was left.
- A Will can appoint executors. Executors are responsible for distributing the estate and when someone doesn’t leave a Will it is usually there next of kin who will apply to be the Administrator. However, in some cases this might not be the wish of the deceased.
The Intestacy rules should only ever be a last resort and our advice would always be to make a Will and have it drafted by a professional who can give you the advice you need according to your personal circumstances. If you want any more advice regarding making a Will, please contact Rebekah Wilkinson on 01924 443900.