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I don’t have anything to leave, why do I need a Will?

I don’t have anything to leave, why do I need a Will?

Individuals often think there is no need for them to write a Will because they do not think they have anything to leave to anyone. This is something I hear quite often; and it makes complete sense! The common understanding of a Will is a document that leaves your property and money to others when you die, but it actually does much more than that. The following article looks into why you need a Will regardless of whether you have anything to leave or not.

What happens to Rental Property if I die?

Of course, you cannot gift a property that you rent, as you do not own it. But what happens when you die?

If you do not have a Will, you do not have anyone legally appointed to deal with your affairs until a Grant of Administration has been obtained, and this is currently taking on average 3-5 months. This means that there is no-one to give notice on your tenancy, which means it will continue until it can be formally ended. This, of course, means ongoing rent for your family.

In a Will, you can appoint an executor. From the moment you die, they are then legally responsible for your estate, and they can give notice before a Grant of Administration has been obtained.

What happens to my Children if I do not write a Will?

If you have minor children (children under 18), you can appoint a guardian in your Will to take care of them. You can also choose who would look after any money on behalf of your children until they reach 18 (or older, if you prefer), when they can inherit the money.

You may want to do this for many different reasons, but the most common reason is lack of contact with the other parent, who will usually have Parental Responsibility, and could therefore be a guardian to that child.

Without a Will how are my intentions fulfilled?

You may be well aware of what are known as the “Intestacy Rules” – the rules laid out by the government stating who inherits when someone dies without a Will. You may also be very happy with them. But if you haven’t stated this in a Will, it may be easier for someone to challenge your intentions. If you haven’t made a Will, it could easily be suggested that you actually wanted your money to go to someone else.

By writing a Will, you are clarifying your intentions and wishes, and this helps to avoid ambiguity after death.

If you have any questions about writing or amending a Wills, or anything else related, please call our Phoebe Tranter directly on 0116 212 1055 or email ptranter@lawson-west.co.uk. We have offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough, and also offer home visits.

This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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