LEGAL-EASE: Making a will
Regardless of whether you have millions in the bank or minimal savings, a Will is always vital to provide clarity and control after you have gone. However, in some circumstances the importance of making a Will is highlighted.
If you live with your partner but are not legally married, in legal terminology you are ‘cohabitees’. As cohabiting couples do not benefit from the same legal relationship as married couples or civil partners, a surviving cohabitee would automatically inherit nothing should their partner die without making a Will. While they may be eligible to make a legal claim against their partner’s assets, this can be a very stressful and emotionally draining process which could be prevented simply by making a Will.
It is a common misconception that you only need to think about making a Will in your later years. In reality this could not be further from the truth. Many do not take steps to control how their children may be cared for should they die before the kids reach adulthood.
Losing a parent is a traumatic experience for a child, but that trauma is only worsened if they are then the focal point of a custody battle between aunts, uncles or grandparents. A simple note in a Will confirming your chosen guardians could have avoided the whole issue.
Children from previous relationships
If you are married but have children from a previous relationship you may be leaving them incredibly vulnerable by not making a Will. If you die without making a Will, your next of kin automatically inherits the vast majority of your assets. As your spouse has no blood relation to your children from previous relationships, should he or she die without including your children in a Will of their own, your children may end up inheriting nothing. To find out more, call Caroline Cunnington or Helen Pacey at Mossop & Bowser Solicitors, Tel: 01406 422651 or email email@example.com.