Legal eagle: Intestacy and the importance of making a will

RAY WITHNALL, owner of Diggle-based company Hay Tarn Wills, looks at Intestacy and the importance of making a will.

P10 ray withnall will writer award
Award-winning will writer Ray Withnall

To find out more about Hay Tarn Wills, visit their website or phone them on: 01457 820725.

AT LEAST half the adult population still do not have a Will. This may be just a statistic but the unforeseen consequences can be serious.

The fact is if you die without a Will the rules of intestacy determine who inherits your assets and possessions.

Intestacy rules are very clear and exist to ensure that, in the absence of a Will, a relative, possibly someone you have never met, may be entitled to inherit. Only if a relative is not found does the Crown take everything.

Unfortunately however, intestacy has a habit of springing nasty, irreversible surprises.

Take the circumstances of an unmarried couple. Regardless of how long they have lived together, without Wills they do not automatically inherit from each other. Intestacy may leave a surviving unmarried partner with no legal rights to continue living in their deceased partner’s home if the deceased was its sole owner.

Other beneficiaries who might suffer are children from first marriages. They are potentially disinherited if their parents divorce, remarry and fail to make a Will with specific provision for their children.

Under intestacy, the second spouse could inherit everything and when they die the children of first spouse are left with nothing.

Some people decide not to divorce and instead begin a long-term relationship with a new partner. Under intestacy, it is the estranged spouse, not the new partner who will inherit. Any children of the deceased might also find they are eventually disinherited.

The examples above are just the tip of the intestacy iceberg. To check how intestacy affects your beneficiaries, contact Hay Tarn Willwriting Services Limited for a free intestacy chart and book an appointment to discuss how a caring, award-winning professional Willwriting service can help you avoid the perils of intestacy.

Phone 0781 800 3937 or email


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