Do you have a will?
When a person dies without a valid will, they have died "intestate" and the law decides who receives the Estate, irrespective of what the deceased actually intended. The “Rules of Intestacy” were simply not designed to cope with modern living arrangements.
Most of us want to ensure that our family and loved ones are financially secure. A charitable gift in your Will is not subject to inheritance tax, so it could reduce the amount of tax payable on your estate and is a wonderful way of ensuring you are not forgotten by future generations.
If you own your property as ‘Joint Tenants’ then it will automatically pass to the surviving owners on your death. However, if you are the sole owner or hold property as Tenants-in-Common then a Will is crucial for ensuring that your assets pass in accordance with your wishes.
Under the ‘Rules of Intestacy,’ the surviving spouse is only entitled to a statutory legacy, not the entire estate!
Any remaining assets will pass to the children. If there are no children, your estate will pass to other relatives in priority order. In the absence of any such relatives, the entire estate will pass to the Crown!