Updated February 2019.
With more people staying single, cohabiting or entering second marriages, it has never been more important to have a Will, says Sarah Cornish, Associate in the Wills & Probate team at Coodes Solicitors.
Cohabiting couples with children are the fastest-growing family type in the UK, only around half of UK men and women are now married and an estimated 42% of marriages end in divorce, many then going onto marry again.
With so many choices on how we live – and who we live with – it has never been more important to make a Will. In the absence of a Will then the state decides who should inherit under the Intestacy Rules. This may mean that the person who is closest to you – a long term partner or loyal friend, for example – will not inherit any part of your estate. There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ husband or wife, so if you are not married you have no right to inherit any part of your partner’s estate, however long you have lived together.
Making a Will is something that most of us would rather not think about but anyone over 18 can make a Will. There are certain life events, such as buying a property, getting married, having children, divorce, illness or a death in the family, which should make you consider making or reviewing a Will.
A properly-drawn-up Will is flexible and can help you to provide for people in different ways. For example, if you were to divorce and then remarry or have a new partner, your Will can be structured to provide for your current spouse or partner while protecting your estate to pass down to your children from a previous relationship.
No doubt you will have seen in the news a number of cases of Wills being challenged so it is extremely important to provide your solicitor with details of anyone who may believe they are entitled to part of your estate. An experienced lawyer will understand that everyone’s situation is different and will help you ensure your Will reflects your wishes – however complex they are.
For advice on making a will please contact Sarah Cornish in Coodes Solicitors Wills & Probate team on 01579 347600 or email@example.com.