I get it, talking about a will can be upsetting to some, but all of us will leave this world at some point. Won’t it give you peace knowing that your surviving family would receive the right asset you want to leave each of them without anyone getting left behind and escalating to challenge a will you created?
Let’s play a scenario. What if you are to die without creating a last will or testament in any form? What would happen to your assets (home, car, jewelleries, collections, money, etc.?) Apart from being passed to someone you hadn’t intended, the people you love and want to receive it might not get anything at all.
Dying without a will. When you die without a will, the law will decide who gets what and how much. It won’t matter what your relationship is with those people when you were alive.
Say you have a bother that you love dearly, and a father who left you decades ago and hadn’t contacted you ever since, dying without a will allows the law give EVERYTHING to your father and NOTHING to your brother.
By leaving a will that states clearly who should get your money and property when you die, you’ll be preventing unwanted distress at an already difficult time for your family and loved ones. Many parents have had to sue their own children just to get a portion of their partner’s estate when their unmarried partner dies. In this situation, the law affirms that the children get everything.
The deal with intestacy. Dying without a validly created will is called dying intestate or simply intestacy. The law about exactly who gets what differs in many countries, but there are common issues wherever you live.
The common rules law follows if you die without a will:
If you are not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner won’t be legally entitled to any of your assets when you die.
If you are married, your spouse may inherit most or even all of your estate. The children may not get anything, except in some counties. This is true even if you separated, but not divorced.
If you have children or grandchildren, how much assets they’re entitled to will depend where you live, so it’s better if you make a will to decide this yourself.
An inheritance tax that your estate needs to pay may be higher than it would be if you had created a will.
If you die with no living close relatives, everything will belong to the Crown or to the government. This law is referred to as bona vacantia.
The only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to create a will and keep it up-to-date whenever possible. Also, it’s a good practice to equally divide your assets since a family member can challenge a will if they feel left out of it. If you’ve been putting off writing a last will, you shouldn’t. You’ll be saving your family a lot of heartache when you do, making bereavement less painful, so they can go on with their life when you’re gone.