No one likes to think about what is going to happen when they die. However, the best solicitors in West Midlands will tell you that preparation is key. After all, the last thing you want is for your estate to fall into the wrong hands, especially when you are no longer going to be here to do anything about it. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to take a look at three unbelievable facts you may not know about your estate and what happens to it when you’re no longer here.
Your spouse is not going to inherit your estate automatically
A lot of people assume that when they pass away their spouse is going to automatically inherit their estate. This is not the case. Yes, your partner is usually going to be the first person in line to inherit your estate. However, this is not guaranteed nor is it automatic. If you do not have a valid will in place, only civil partners or married partners and some close relatives are going to be able to inherit your estate.
Let’s say there is a surviving partner, children, and grandchildren. If this is the case, the first £250,000 will go to the partner, and then the rest will go to the children. If the person who has passed away does not have an estate that is worth £250,000, it will all go to the partner. It is also important to note that there are different rules in place regarding people who aren’t married or in civil partnerships as well. If you are not legally married or in a civil partnership, your partner will probably not receive anything.
Because of this, it is best to make sure that you have a will so that you can determine who gets the estate and how it is split up. If you don’t, you are not going to have any control over this.
Your ex-wife or ex-husband could inherit your estate
If you have named your ex-wife or ex-husband in a will and you have divorced, they could still be in line to inherit from your estate if you have not changed your will. The only way to make sure that this is not going to happen is to make sure you change your will. If you were to re-marry, this would cancel out any previous will, unless you have accounted for the impending nuptials when the document is created.
It is imperative to make sure that your will is kept up-to-date. Whenever circumstances change in your life and you want other people to inherit your estate, do not delay in calling up your solicitor and changing your will. If you don’t do this, you could end up with beneficiaries of your estate getting your assets that you would never want to have your estate.
Over 70 per cent of the population do not have a will
This is one of the most worrying statistics about estates and wills. At the moment, around seven in ten people in the UK do not have a valid will. This is especially worrying for parents, as it means that there are no legal plans outlining who would become guardian of their children should they pass away.
There are so many reasons why having a will is so important. As touched upon, for parents, it is essential. This will ensure that you have complete control over what happens to your children in terms of their guardianship should you pass away. Having a will is also critical when it comes to providing financial security for your loved ones. You have worked hard all of your life, and so you should want to make sure that your possessions end up in the right hands.
Moreover, by working with a solicitor and putting a will together, they will be able to help you to structure your will so that you pay less inheritance tax. The last thing you want is for a huge chunk of your estate to be taken by the taxman.
There are other advantages that are associated with estate planning and putting together a will that are not often discussed. This includes the fact that you will be able to specify wishes for your funeral. No one likes to think about their funeral! However, you may have certain wishes that you want. For example, you may want people to wear a certain colour or you may want a specific song to be played. You may also have wishes regarding where the funeral is held. All of this can be detailed in your will.
Another reason that putting together a will is important is because it helps to prevent inheritance disputes from happening. We all like to think that our loved ones are not going to argue about money once we pass away. However, you would be surprised by how many families end up falling out because they argue about what they are entitled to. It is a sad situation all around. Nevertheless, you can make sure that this does not happen by putting together a will. With a will, your estate division is going to be clearly outlined. There can be no arguments regarding who is going to receive what, as your words will be there in black and white, and so there is no room for people to try and claim what isn’t theirs.
So there you have it: three facts that you need to know about your estate. If you have not thought about your estate and what is going to happen to it once you are no longer here, now is the right time to look into this. You should connect with an experienced solicitor who will help you to understand the process of writing a will, and they will ensure that everything is done in accordance with the law so that there are not any problems later down the line.