Are You Intestate?

intestate

Not a lot of people think about making a legal Will, drawn up by family lawyers; they may just tell their spouse or children that anything they have should be divided equally between them.  Unless one of their children is a favourite, in which case they may want that person to get everything. But unless they make a legal Will, this is unlikely to happen.

If you don’t have a Will, when you pass away you will be declared intestate, which simply means without a Will. Any assets you have will not be distributed to your family, at least not immediately. First, the matter will have to go through legal proceedings to ascertain exactly what you have in assets and how much it is all worth.

After that, the costs incurred in the legalities must be deducted from the total amount and what is left will then be distributed to the family. This is a poor substitution for having a Will that documents your wishes in detail. When you have a Will there will be no hold-ups and your wishes will be strictly adhered to. That is not to say family members can’t legally object, should they have been left out or get less than the others.

Objections can be put forward by any family member who feels they were not treated fairly. If this happens, the distribution of the Will is likely to take a great deal longer so the case can be heard and decided by the judge. All the family members may need to go to court if they don’t agree with the objection.

In any case, having a Will made ensures your assets are distributed in compliance with your wishes – in most cases – and with as little lost from the estate as possible. Even people who have only a small amount of assets need to have a Will if they want their family to benefit by receiving them. Not even items such as a wedding ring can be taken by a family member of an intestate person until they are proven to be the correct and legal heir.

So to prevent any family squabbles and waste of assets it is essential that you not be declared intestate. It is quite easy to make a Will. Simply book an appointment with a family lawyer and tell them what your assets are and how they are to be divided. They will draw up a legal Will and you will then sign it, along with witnesses you choose. If you don’t have anyone to be a witness, the lawyer and probably one of the receptionists can sign it.  The lawyer will ensure the Will is kept safe.

This is much better than even writing out a Will on a purchased Will Kit. Such documents still have to be signed by a witness and are easily lost.