News & Updates

Making a Will is one of the most important things you can do…

The global pandemic has led to people realising that they need to write or update their Will. However, a report, by IRN Research, outlined that the surge in Will drafting was mainly due to giving them ‘peace of mind’ rather than ‘Covid-19’.

With the highest death toll in the world per million people, Wills have become imperative. If you die without a Will then your estate passes in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

What are intestacy laws?

If a person dies without a Will, then there are default rules which determine who inherits. The deceased is described as ‘intestate’ which may be either partially or wholly intestate.

Wholly intestacy – is where there is no Wil at all or the Will has been revoked or is invalid for some reason e.g. because of lack of capacity, marriage or failure to comply with signing formalities.

Partially intestate – is where the Will fails to deal with the whole estate and assets pass outside of the Will according to intestacy rules. This could be because a beneficiary has died before the deceased and no reserve beneficiary or that a beneficiary has witnessed the Will invalidating their legacy.

The question of who takes what depends on the date of death and the size of the estate and which relatives are alive at the time of death.

These are as follows:

  • A spouse/civil partner but NO children
    • Estate passes entirely to spouse/civil partner
  • A spouse/civil partner AND children
    • Surviving spouse/civil partner takes:
      • Contents of the home;
      • Sum of £270,000; and
      • Half the remaining estate absolutely
    • The children takes:
      • The other half of the remainder of the estate
  • NO spouse/civil partner but children
    • Estate passes entirely to children
  • NO spouse/civil partner or children
    • Everything divides equally between the surviving relatives:
      • Parents; or if none
      • Brothers or sisters or if deceased their children; or if none
      • Half-brothers or half-sisters or if deceased their children; or if none
      • Grandparents; or if none
      • Uncles/aunts or if deceased their children; or if none
      • Half-uncles/half-aunts or if deceased their children; or if none
      • The Crown or the Duchy of Lancaster or Duke of Cornwall depending on where the deceased was a resident.

Remember that anything jointly owned passes to the surviving owner.

Why does this matter?

There are a few reasons why this is problematic.

The first is inheritance tax. A percentage of the estate distributing to children rather than a spouse you could cause your family an adverse, unnecessary tax bill.

You probably have wishes on who you would like to inherit. This could be anything from ensuring an heir loom goes to your daughter or that your son receives his inheritance minus any gifts.

You can ensure that should your surviving spouse remarry that assets are protected for your children and avoid assets transferring to new partner.

You can appoint guardians, as intestacy does not cover this aspect. A will ensures that those you want to look after your children can.

How do you make a Will?

If you get in touch with Farani Taylor Solicitors, we can help you to organise your Will. Our experts arrange a video call to discuss your circumstances and once agreed, we draft and send copies to you for signing. If you want us to witness your Will, we can do so by video call.

Get in touch…

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Call us today on 0207 242 1666 or email

See our Wills Department

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