When someone dies without writing a will, their estate is shared out following the rules of intestacy. Here, we’ll cover what this means and who can inherit when there isn’t a valid will in place. It can be a complicated process, and many people can find themselves struggling to get through settling your affairs, receiving their share of your estate, or just looking after your best wishes when you're gone. For families, it can be a huge source of stress at an already difficult time. This is what may happen if you aren't looking after your affairs now.
Basically, the state will divide your assets without a will
And that division won't happen according to any plan that you might have wanted to make. When you die without a will, your immediate family - spouse, children etc - will receive an even share of whatever assets you have to distribute, without a larger game plan. Everyone will have an equal claim to anything you leave behind. In some cases, this can work out fine; if you don't have a complex situation, the split may be just what you would have wanted. But in most scenarios, it's going to leave people unhappy, and it wouldn't leave your affairs in the kind of order you want. You may have a particular cause you wanted to care for, that won't be a beneficiary without a will. You may have a pet that you want looked after, and they won't be cared for by that division of assets.
If you don't have a will in place, it makes things complicated
ideally, in the event that you pass away, your family should be able to turn to a clear legal will that should allow them to make settling your affairs a clean and simple matter with no additional emotional strain. But without that will, it just won't be possible. The legal mess it can create with the division being disputed, non-immediate beneficiaries trying to stand up for a share they may or may not be entitled to and people second guessing what you would or wouldn't have wanted, becomes a serious issue. The stress this can place on family members is enormous, particularly while they're already grieving.
There won't be a clear guide to settling everything
When you die without a will, you don't leave the right information that can help any outstanding debts, concerns or agreements to be settled in the easiest and most streamlined way possible, meaning that everything can take far longer and be more complex than necessary.
Ultimately, you won't be leaving things sorted
If you're planning for your future, you should be trying to tick off everything on your list. Yes, that does include your savings and retirement plans. Yes, it should include your bucket list, and everything you want to do and see and experience in your life. But it should also include a will that protects your family, saves them unnecessary stress and worry, and keeps things sorted and organised in the right way.
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