It’s probably safe to say that you’re not going through life, working hard for yourself and your family if you have one, pondering over what to leave to who in the event of your death.
All well and good, but, for the vast majority of people, preparing for death by making a will is a completely normal and natural part of life. Particularly in the current climate, when the only news is coronavirus news. Confronted daily with stories of illness and fatality, you might well be one of the thousands of people deciding that it’s high time to get a fast will under your belt to cover any eventuality. It will pay you back with peace of mind. It’s your non-negotiable statement of intent about who should inherit your property, your savings, your pet, your Great Grandmother’s engagement ring, your record collection; literally anything that means something to you, financially or sentimentally, that you want to label with the right person’s name for when you’re no longer here.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a hard-working nurse; one of a key demographic currently dealing first hand with coronavirus.
Let’s imagine the unimaginable, and what the inheritance ‘pecking order’ looks like if you’ve not made an online will or visited your Solicitor in person –
If you are single without children:
- Your parents would inherit everything if one or both of them are still living
- Your siblings would inherit everything if your parents are not still living
- Your grandparents would inherit everything if one or more of them are still living, but your parents and siblings are not
- Your aunts, uncles and cousins would inherit anything if one or more of them are still living, but your parents, siblings and grandparents are not
If you are single with children or grandchildren:
- Your biological and adopted children would inherit everything if they are 18 years or over, when they come of age if they are under 18 years, and if one or more of them are still living
- Your grandchildren would inherit everything if one or more of them are still living, but your children are not
- Your great-grandchildren would inherit everything if one or more of them are still living, but your children and grandchildren are not
If you are married or in a civil partnership without children:
- Your husband, wife or civil partner would inherit everything
If you are married or in a civil partnership with children:
- Your husband, wife or civil partner would inherit everything up to the value of £250,000
- Your children would inherit 50% of the excess if your estate is worth more than £250,000, divided equally between them if you have more than one child, with your husband, wife or civil partner inheriting the other 50% of the excess
If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, and you don’t have any immediate relatives, everything you have to your name would automatically become the property of the state.