If you die without a Will, your spouse may not inherit enough to live on
September 1, 2022
If you don’t leave a valid Will, your husband or wife may struggle to make ends meet and may not inherit your share of your home. They may also have to pay costly inheritance tax, which could have been avoided.
Under intestacy rules, which determine what happens to your estate if there is no valid Will, if you have children, your spouse or civil partner will only inherit the first £270,000, and half of the rest. The other half will go to your children, including children from previous relationships, but excluding stepchildren who would have no entitlement at all.
In some cases, adult children will agree to forego their entitlement so that their bereaved mother or father can keep the whole house and inherit any cash, pension pots and investments, but they cannot consent to this if they are under 18.
Are you confident your children from a previous marriage would agree to this?
Some families are able to come to an agreement so the bereaved spouse (or civil partner) isn’t left with constant money worries, but some situations are more complicated and much of your estate could be swallowed up in costly litigation. Additionally, a 40% inheritance tax charge is added to the portion of your estate left to your children, but this can be avoided entirely if you leave it all to your spouse.
Making a Will allows you to decide what you leave to your spouse and children. We recommend you and your partner both make wills at the same time. This way, you decide together how to protect each other from financial hardship when one of you dies, as well as what you would like to happen when you’re both no longer around. If you have children from previous relationships or stepchildren you would like to benefit, we can help you work out the best and fairest way to provide for them.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.