Introduction To Intestate

Statistics for England and Wales will show a lot of people don’t like to ponder upon the unavoidable, their death.  This is exhibited by the fact that only about one third of English and Welsh people have a Last Will & Testament upon their earthly departure.  By ‘bury your head in the sand’ and acting like its going to go away if you ignore it; this Will Not change the inevitable.  Acting as if it will is going to result in you not being prepared and not writing a Last Will and Testament.  In so doing, upon your demise you will be termed to have died intestate (without a last will and testament).  Under this circumstance you will be putting your faith in the legal rules for intestacy to do the best by your wealth and your family when you are deceased.  You will have lost any chance to decide and command what would or should be done with your material goods and whom will be rewarded with what you have left behind.

Furthermore you will have no preparation for how your family will manage from a practical and financial standpoint after your demise.  For instance what about the family home, the keystone central to any family?  Your home is where majority of your money is; is this going to be lost due to no strategy being in place to uphold the family residence from being traded for money to pay off debts, inheritors or the tax collector.  If you are renting are the appropriate names listed on the rent book?  Whether you have a mortgage or are renting your home it’s going to be hard enough on your loved ones losing you let alone losing the roof over their heads at the same time.

Beware in England & Wales if you have a reasonable amount of wealth it could be subject to some inheritance tax; hence the previous mention of the ‘tax collector’ above.  Only pre-planning and the appropriate use of a Last Will and Testament will provide you the best opportunity to avoid or greatly diminish such tax. Whereas, leaving this earthly plane intestate and devoid of any pre-planning is likely to leave your estate wide open to the largest proportion of inheritance tax.

Some people under the Intestacy Law in England and Wales get overlooked such as an ex-spouse or a beloved partner with whom you are not married or in a Civil Partnership.  They commonly have no entitlement to a section of your property and estate.

As a result of this it is common for families of the departed to prohibit partners from benefiting from your property and estate, not merely items of financial worth but even going as far as withholding insignificant stuff of sentimental worth only.  You may love and care for your partner but that does not mean your family will feel the same. 

On the other hand if you and your wife / husband or civil partner is separated, nevertheless, not divorced they will be able to collect from your estate under the legalities of intestate law, whether this is as you hoped or not.  If this goes against your wishes your oversight will bring a massive smile to their face, giving them the last laugh at your expense especially if the separation was not an amicable one.

Within the English and Welsh laws of intestacy yours and your loved ones hopes are forgotten about in respect to how your property and estate is divided.  The intestacy legalities in England & Wales pronounce how everything you own is to be collected and distributed via a specific laid out sequence.  This sequence basically looks at everything as a lump sum whole and divides up these sums in set proportions.  It ignores the desires of members of the family and friends and does not look at what relevant specific gifts go to certain person or persons.  So specific selective stuff like who should get the wedding ring, the motor bike, the car, the house etc are overlooked, even though some gifts better suit different individuals.  This lack of detail could result in family squabbles, such as one party wants to sell everything and take the cash and others want the possessions intact or more than one party wants the same the same possession and there is no way of splitting it without selling it for cash…something you may not of wanted to happen, especially if it was a family heirloom for example.  Only preplanning and writing a Last Will and Testament could prevent a variety of possible arguments from occurring, or at least settle them in advance.  Unsettled issues could strip the wealth that you leave behind especially if the dispute escalates into a court battle with what could have been pre-avoidable legal and court fees.

If you were planning to make a donation to a charitable cause, then, devoid of a Last Will & Testament there is no guarantee the charity will get anything unless the inheritors feel like doing so in a bid to respect your wishes, which could only occur if you told them of your intention in the first place.

You are possibly beginning see from the previous paragraphs that writing a Last Will and Testament in England and Wales is more than simply filling out a piece of paper saying who gets what, it is a whole philosophy of being prepared in as many ways as you possibly can.

Save the troubles, problems, squabbles and in the process reflect your true desires into reality with respect to the allotment of your property and estate once you’re not around.  Do this by arranging any necessary and appropriate preparation steps required and simultaneous sealing these plans legally through the drafting of a Last Will and Testament.  This is the best way to try and guarantee everything turns out the way you hope and wish for.

SEE ALSO:

Appointing An Executor.
Trustees
Rules Surrounding Guardianship
Selecting Your Guardian
Automatic Guardianship
Appointing A Guardian
Parental Responsibility
Changing Guardianship
Introduction to Trusts
Money For Child And Guardian 
Selecting The Trustee

 

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