As a single person it is extremely important to make a Will to ensure that your worldly belongings pass to the people you want to benefit. Without a Will your assets are likely to pass to your next of kin under the “Intestacy Rules”. The Intestacy Rules provide a pecking order of Beneficiaries starting with your parents and moving on to your brothers, sisters and remoter relatives.
Of course, if you have children your assets will pass to your children in equal shares.
People often think “I have nothing to leave”. Remember you probably own a house and there may be a considerable amount of equity which you will want to pass to your nominated Beneficiaries. You may also subsequently acquire assets which will pass under a will
The following example demonstrates how important it is for a single person to make a Will.
John is a single man with a house and other assets worth approximately £300,000.00. He has no debts.
John lives with his long time partner Jenny
John’s parents have both died and he has two brothers Dave and Martin
John is estranged from Dave and hasn’t seen him for over 15 years.
Martin is married to his second wife Martha who has two children, Matt and Mike, by a previous relationship, both of whom are in prison.
John and Martin are involved in a road accident. John dies instantly and Martin dies a week later. Neither John nor Martin has made a Will.
Under the Intestacy Rules John’s estate will pass to his two brothers in equal shares. Martin’s share (upon his death) will automatically pass to Martha as his next of kin.
Martha dies of cancer 6 months later.
Martha has left a Will and leaves her estate equally between her two sons Matt & Mike whom John hated. They will now inherit £75,000.00 each from John’s estate. Dave inherits the other £150,000.00 but cannot be traced.
John’s live in partner, Jenny receives nothing.
If John had made a Will he would have almost certainly have left his assets to Kate to ensure that she can continue to live in the house. Kate may have grounds to challenge the situation. Unfortunately this is an extremely time consuming and costly process with no guarantee of success.