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Where There Isn’t A Will: Why Not Writing A Will Could Place Your Family At Risk

The subject of one’s mortality is always fraught with emotion. The reality, however, is that it is a subject that we must all face at some point in our life.


If you have a family, and don’t take the time to make a will, through a recognised firm, such as Co-operative Legal Services, your untimely death could place many undue burdens on your loved ones, at an already emotional and saddening time.


Whether you are in good health, or have health concerns, there is no time like the present to start thinking about your will. Choosing not to write a will could place your family at risk for a number of reasons.


You have no say in who inherits your estate


If your death is untimely and sudden, not having a will can leave your love ones in despair, especially if a number of them are reliant on you, financially.


When a person dies and has no will, their estate, after the deduction of enforceable debts and funeral expenses, is said to be in a condition of intestacy. In this scenario, the State determines who inherits their estate. This is an extremely important point as the law is very strict regarding the order of those who will inherit your estate, with your spouse at the top of the list, all the way down to uncles and aunts. The law, furthermore, does not recognise cohabitants as being endowed with the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners.


Whether you want your estate to pass to your partner, children, close friends or even your favourite charity, a will is the only way to ensure that your desired beneficiaries are looked after following your death.


Designating an executor of your will is an important final consideration as it makes the application process for a grant of probate, the legal document required by the will’s executor before he or she can execute the will, more straightforward.


Leaving children without designated legal guardians


If the worst should happen and both you and your partner should die, or you are a single parent, one of the most important facets of making a will is the determination of the future legal guardians of your children.


It can be a distressing thought to consider, but if you do not make a will then there could be great uncertainty regarding who will look after your children after your death. This is not a complication that any parent would want for their child, so it’s better to plan ahead to ensure that coping with your passing is made as easy as possible for your offspring.


Financial burdens


With funeral costs, legal fees and inheritance taxes, failing to leave a will can end up impacting financially on your loved ones. If your spouse, children or family have come to rely on you financially, ineffective tax planning can result in your loved ones struggling to cope.


Effective tax planning, including perhaps the setting up of a trust fund for your children, ensures that those you care about most are looked after in the way that you had hoped, through the maximisation of the value of your estate.