You might be surprised to hear that you may not need to prepare a Will but this is true in a small number of scenarios (although not recommended).
The key is to know what will happen to your estate in the event of your death if you do not have a Will in place.
If you die without a Will you are deemed to have died “Intestate” and your estate will be dealt with and distributed under the Statutory Intestacy Rules.
Scenario 1: If you have NO PREFERENCE as to who deals with your assets when you die or who inherits, then you do not need a Will, if you DO have a preference then you DO need a Will.
Scenario 2: If you are married or in a civil partnership, have no children, and wish for your spouse to receive your entire estate, under the Statutory Intestacy Rules your estate will pass solely to your spouse so you could argue that you do not need a Will, HOWEVER upon second death if you have a preference as to who deals with your estate or who inherits then you DO need a Will.
Please note that if you are cohabiting or have a partner whom you are not married to and you wish for them to inherit from your estate then you NEED A WILL.
Scenario 3: If you are married and have children and your estate is worth under £270,000 but you wish for your spouse to receive everything, then you may not need a Will as this would be the result under Statutory Intestacy Rules. Upon second death, under Statutory Intestacy Rules, the estate would pass to your children in equal shares.
Please remember that without a Will you have no control over who deals with your assets, clearance of your house, or collection of your bank accounts and although the distribution of your estate may be in line with your wishes under Statutory Intestacy Rules this is still not recommended.
There are many scenarios in which Statutory Intestacy Rules do not provide for and could result in your estate passing to someone that you did not intend, or bypassing a loved one whom you had hoped to benefit.
A simple Will takes on average 3-6 weeks from taking instructions to signing the finished Will, and costs between £190 plus vat per person. There are also various charity free Will schemes that will pay the cost of preparing your Will on your behalf.
For peace of mind and certainty, we strongly recommend that everyone prepares a Will.
Contact our Wills & Probate Solicitors