After seeing a rise in the number of disputes between family members following the death of a loved one, we decided to commission research to show the importance of writing a valid will and explaining the reasons behind your decisions to your children and family.
To support the research we will be releasing a series of blogs which highlight issues surrounding will writing and family feuds over inheritance.
A shocking 62 per cent of adults in England and Wales do not have a will.
The high number of adults without a will was revealed by YouGov research and is reflected in an increase in the number of questions Citizens Advice receive on intestacy problems from 1,522 in 2011 to 3,747 last year.
If you die without leaving a valid will (known as dying intestate) you have no choice as to who inherits your estate. This can lead to family member either not receiving an inheritance or as much as would want. This often leads families to arguments.
To save your family from falling out over your estate I would recommend that not only you draft a will; with the help of a specialist solicitor, but that you explain your decisions to your family as well.
Without a properly drafted will you are in danger of leaving your loved ones unnecessarily having to cope with financial worries and your estate being liable to inheritance tax as your estate is shared out according to the rules of intestacy.
Explaining the reasoning behind decisions in your will can make it easier for your children and close family to understand and accept your wishes. Some people make the mistake of failing to explain why they have left something to one child and not another because they believe the reason why must be obvious. The thing is you won’t be there to explain it.
For expert advice drafting your will call Slater and Gordon Lawyers for an initial consultation on freephone 0800 916 9055 or alternatively contact us online.
James Beresford is the head of the wills, trusts, tax and probate department at Slater and Gordon Lawyers.