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Research reveals ‘no Will’ inheritance risk

A recent study has revealed that a significant number of UK adults may be at risk of encountering issues related to inheritance due to their failure to create a Will.

The research found that 57 per cent of UK adults have not yet drafted a Will, which leaves their estates vulnerable to being distributed in a manner that does not align with their wishes.

When a person dies without having left a legally binding Will, the distribution of their estate is determined by the rules of intestacy. These rules follow a strict formula that prioritises spouses and civil partners, followed by other immediate family members in a predetermined order. However, this system may lead to outcomes that do not reflect modern familial arrangements.

For example, cohabiting partners may encounter particular difficulties under the intestacy rules, as their children are given priority over their surviving partner. This means that without a Will, a surviving partner may be left with nothing, even if they have lived with their partner for many years.

Emma Sommerville, a Senior Associate at Mander Hadley who specialises in Wills, said: “Failing to create a Will can have significant consequences and may lead to legal disputes over the distribution of an estate.

“Various parties may file claims for financial provision using the Inheritance Act, resulting in protracted legal battles and significant costs.

“It is crucial to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, particularly if you have specific arrangements or unique family dynamics that may not be reflected in the intestacy rules.

“By creating a Will, you can provide clarity and peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.”

If you do not have a valid Will in place or you need to update your Will, please get in touch with our team.

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