The Consequences of Not Making a Will

Here at Prestige Tax and Trust Services we make it our business to ensure that when you pass away, your money goes towards the people you want it to. As we have stated on the ‘Will’s’ Section of our website, it is essential that you take the time to draw up a will. If you want to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the event that something bad happens to you, a will is the only way to go.

There are obviously many reasons why a will should be drawn up, not least of which is that without a will, providing for your loved ones, due to certain legal procedures, can be difficult, if not impossible. Everybody knows this, and luckily, most people take it on board. However, what is less clear to the general public at large are the consequences of not drawing up a will. What legal procedures do you have to go through to ensure you get what you are entitled to? What happens to your money once the government steps in? These are questions that you should be asking.

The usually travelled route for next of kin looking to receive their financial due when a will has not been drawn up is to apply for a grant of representation from the government. When somebody dies, a person is appointed to deal with said persons finances (money, property and possession’s left) and this person is appointed by the court, after applying to the probate service, to carry out this task.  The document given out by the court to sanction this is called the grant of representation. This is the document needed by the asset holders as proof to show the correct person or persons have the Probate services say so to administer a deceased person’s estate.

However, when, for whatever reason, applying for a grant of representation is not an option, then what usually happens is that the law decides what will happen to a deceased person’s estate. The laws governing this are complex and it takes a lot of time and effort, as well as money, to go down this route. It is a last resort and is filled with so many legal pitfalls; it is by no means a guarantee. This is the route you would have to travel down when it becomes impossible to apply for a grant of representation. People in this sort of a situation include someone whose partner has passed on, but they were not in a legally recognised relationship. The law in this area is complex to say the least, and somebody in this situation is not automatically entitled to inherit their partner’s estate.

In other words, make sure you draw up a will. It is possible for your loved ones to inherit your estate without one, but the process is long and expensive, and there is an enormous amount of red tape you need to go through to get there. A will simply cuts all that out.

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