A 2019 study found that two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have a will – equivalent to 27.8 million people – and that 47% of over-55s have failed to arrange one.

If you die intestate – without a valid will – your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. In simple terms, your estate won’t necessarily pass to the person you would have wanted it to.

Dying intestate also means that you lose control of what happens to your estate and that your final wishes may not take effect.

Many people are under the misapprehension that their loved ones will automatically inherit their assets when they die but this is often not the case, particularly if the parties are unmarried.

The infographic below explains exactly what happens if you die without making a will.

As well as ensuring your assets pass to the right people, there are other benefits to making a will. It can:

  • Speed up the distribution of your estate
  • Ensure that arrangements for your children are made. You can appoint guardians in your will and make financial provision for their future. Read our guide to who is responsible for your children if you die
  • Reduce the risk of inter-family arguments. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of claims being made against a deceased person’s estate. Making a will reduces the likelihood of such claims being made, and provides clear guidance as to your wishes
  • Help with tax planning. A carefully drafted will can help you to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability.

Even if you have made a will, it’s vital that you update it regularly. Here’s our guide to five things your executor should be doing right now.

If you need estate planning advice, including tackling Inheritance Tax issues or dealing with wills/Powers of Attorney, please get in touch. Contact your usual HFMC Wealth contact or email mail@hfmcwealth.com if you require further information or any assistance.

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