Tuesday, 28 August 2018

A Battle of Wills - Don't leave it too late to makes yours

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It is easy to assume that our property and possessions will automatically go to loved ones when we die, but unfortunately this is not always the case. Many of us are unaware of the unintended consequences for our families by not having a valid Will in place.

If you die without having a valid Will in place this is also known as dying intestate, and there are strict inheritance rules which will be applied in this eventuality called the Laws of Intestacy. In these cases the court will appoint administrators who will be in charge of gathering your assets and paying any debts before distributing the remaining estate according to the rules.

The laws of intestacy vary greatly depending on whether you were single or married, or had children. In most cases, your property is distributed in split shares to your heirs, which could include your surviving spouse, siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and distant relatives. However, issues can arise for example in unmarried couples or families with step children as the rules do not recognise them as relatives of the deceased. Also, when no relatives can be found, the entire estate goes to the state. The only way to make it absolutely clear who should inherit your property and possessions after you pass away is by making a Will.

Since estate planning can be quite complicated, it may be wise to speak with an estate planning professional who can help you draft a valid Will and give you some peace of mind. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us further about making a Will, please do contact us and we will be happy to help.

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