Recent reports in the press have highlighted the case of Eastenders actress Gillian Taylforth who will receive nothing from the Estate of her ex-fiancé as he had not written a will. It is often the case that celebrity Wills and those of their partners often catch the media’s attention. The deaths of George Best, Bernard Matthews and Jade Goody have all raised inheritance issues. Most notable was the case of Peter Sellars whose fortune eventually passed to the children of his estranged wife, leaving his own children with almost nothing at all.
Common Inheritance Myths
The simple fact is that if you are in a relationship, but not married or in a civil partnership with that person, then if you die without a will your partner has no automatic right to receive any of your Estate.
The concept of common law spouse is all but a myth and exists, in legal terms, in very limited circumstances with no guarantee that a common law spouse will receive anything from their deceased partner’s Estate.
There are a number of other common misconceptions about what happens to your estate if you don’t have a will; including that your estate will all automatically pass your spouse or, in some circumstances, that it all goes to the Government!
How to Avoid Inheritance Confusion and Unnecessary Expense
Having a professionally prepared will is the simplest way of making sure that you know who will inherit your estate. You can say exactly who the beneficiaries are and how much they should get. You may also include funeral directions, specific gifts, trusts, the appointment of legal guardians for minor children and name who you want to deal with the administration of your estate. It gives you the opportunity to consider the value of your estate and whether you need to consider inheritance tax planning.
Modern relationships are often complicated, some couples never marry, people have second or third marriages and having children out of wedlock is a common occurence. You may need to make sure that the distribution of your estate reflects your personal circumstances. You may have children from a previous marriage and there may be a need to balance the distribution of your estate between them and your current spouse.
We are Here to Help
We can prepare a simple single will for £240 (including VAT), which is a small investment for the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be carried out on your death.
If you already have a will there is often no need to amend it, but we can help you to review it to ensure that it includes any significant changes in your personal or financial circumstances.