What is a will?
A will is a witnessed document that sets out in writing the deceased's wishes for the distribution of his or her assets after death, A will can also ensure that proper arrangements are made for your children.
Having a will makes life so much easier and less stressful for loved ones left behind.
If you are taking out a mortgage protection policy you will be leaving behind your share of the property and it is important that this share be left to the person/s you desire.
What happens if you die having made a will?
Please note that if you are married or in a civil partnership and if you die without having a will, your estate will be divided 2/3 to your surviving spouse/ partner and 1/3 divided evenly among the children!
After you die, your executor named in your will, has to deal with your estate, by gathering together all your money and possessions, paying any debts you owe and then distributing what is left to the people who are entitled to it.
What happens if you die without a will or your will is invalid?
A person who dies without a will or whose will is invalid is said to have died 'intestate'.( comes from the latin word " intestatus")
If you die intestate, this means your estate, or everything that you own, is distributed in accordance with the law by an administrator. To do this, the administrator needs permission in the form of a Grant of Representation. When a person dies without a will or when their will is invalid, this Grant is issued as Letters of Administration by the Probate Office or the District Probate Registry for the area in which the person lived at the time of death.
What are the rules for distribution of your estate when you die intestate or, have not made a valid will?
If you are survived by:
A spouse/civil partner but no children (or grandchildren): your spouse/civil partner gets the entire estate.
A spouse/civil partner and children:your spouse/civil partner gets two-thirds of your estate and the remaining one-third is divided equally among your children. If one of your children has died, that share goes to his/her children.
Children, but no spouse/civil partner: your estate is divided equally among your children (or their children).
Parents, but no spouse/civil partner or children: your estate is divided equally between your parents or given entirely to one parent if only one survives.
Brothers and sisters only: your estate is shared equally among them, with the children of a deceased brother or sister taking his/her share.
Nieces and nephews only: your estate is divided equally among those surviving.
Other relatives only: your estate is divided equally between the nearest equal relationship.