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WILLS

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Two thirds of UK adults have not made a will. Their reasons vary from cost, not having given it a thought, believing they are too young to not wanting to tempt fate. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that death can occur unexpectedly at any age and, where there are dependants relying on you, it is even more vital that you make provision for them, not only financially but also as to whom will be their legal guardians.

24,000 children each year in the UK are bereaved of a parent and the surviving parent may not always be able to look after their children. 43% of parents have not made a will and more than four fifths of this group have not nominated someone to look after their children in the event of their death. Even those who have made a will, 31% have not named a guardian which suggests that parents may think that their children will automatically be entrusted to their grandparents or other close relative. Whilst this may happen, the children could actually end up in foster care whilst a judge determines who best to look after them. This may not be the person you would have wanted.

Making a will not only protects your children, but also your partner. If you are a cohabiting couple, you are not entitled to inherit automatically, no matter how long you have been together. Almost 70% of cohabitees do not have a will.

Even if you are married or in a civil partnership, if your estate is valued at more than £250,000 and you die without having made a will, your estate will be subject to strict intestacy rules. Your surviving spouse or civil partner will automatically be entitled to the first £250,000 of your estate but will then only retain a life-interest in half of the remaining estate. They will not be allowed to spend the capital and can only draw an income from it. The other half will pass to children, if there are any, but the children will not automatically receive their share straight away.

Ensuring that your loved ones are well taken care of in the event of your death will provide you with peace of mind. Our team will be happy to help you plan for their future.

Martin Justice

Partner
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Naomi Woods

Associate
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Margaret Broom

Associate
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Alison Jessop

Tax Consultant
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Nicholas Strong

Chartered Legal Executive
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Will Vine

Partner
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Lisa Todd

Solicitor
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Chris Lake

Paralegal
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Ruth Wijay

Trust & Probate Practitioner
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