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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.

Under the Intestacy Rules, if you die leaving a spouse and children, your surviving spouse will receive the first £250,000 from your estate outright, with an additional sum of half of the remainder. The other half is left upon trust for your children to inherit at the age of 18. If, however, you are unmarried at the time of death, the intestacy rules do not provide anything at all for your surviving partner, and the entire estate would pass to your children.  In the event that both you and your spouse die, your estates would pass entirely to your children to inherit at the age of 18.

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.

Will Vine

Partner

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Joan Pullin

Associate

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Emma Gray

Associate

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Naomi Woods

Associate

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Eleanor Rae

Solicitor

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Chris Lake

Wills and Probate Practitioner

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