An intestacy does not just occur when a person dies without a Will. It can also arise even if they have a Will but it is invalid or has been revoked. It can also arise if a valid Will has not been properly drafted and a common example is where a beneficiary dies, but the Will does not say what is to happen to the gift thereafter.
Revoking a Will can occur intentionally, for example by destroying it or by making a later valid Will. Sometimes it can be revoked unintentionally, for example if the Will is lost and the Court presumes you have destroyed it. Marriage after the date of a Will will also automatically revoke it, but divorce does not.
When a person dies intestate, the Intestacy Rules apply and their estate is divided and distributed in accordance with them and not the person’s wishes and maybe not to the people they would want to benefit. Unnecessary Inheritance Tax may become payable and serious consequences can arise where beneficiaries are in receipt of means tested benefits.
Dying intestate can cause all sorts of problems which can be largely avoided when a valid Will is in place.
Preparing a Will
Having a Will and knowing that your affairs are in order will not only provide peace of mind to you but also to your family and friends who will then know how you wanted your estate to be distributed. What will be a difficult time can be made a bit easier by having a Will in place.
Our experienced solicitors can assist and we have particular expertise in Wills for parents with disabled children, business owners and complex family arrangements.
If you would like to discuss Intestacy in more detail or the preparation of a Will please contact Helen Taylor TEP on 01604 828282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Kathryn Thornewill on 01908 660966 or by email on email@example.com.