Google Adwords 0808 278 1398 Bing Ads 0808 274 4482

Why should I make a will if my wife and kids will get everything anyway under the intestacy rules?

The intestacy rules are legally binding rules saying what happens to everything that you own — your ‘estate’ — if you die without making a will.

But the intestacy rules do not guarantee that your wife (or civil partner if you are in a civil partnership) and children will get everything, or that your estate will be divided between them in the way you want. The best way to make sure that your wife and children get everything is to make a will.

Circumstances in which it can be particularly important to make a will rather than rely on the intestacy rules include:

  • Your estate could exceed the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000, triggering a potential liability to inheritance tax at 40 per cent. If you leave everything to your spouse there is no inheritance tax but if she were to die first it could be payable. Making a will can reduce the inheritance tax bill.
  • The value of your spouse’s assets (including any inheritance from you) means that inheritance tax is likely to be payable when she dies.
  • Some of the children that you treat as children of the family are not yours (for example, they are your wife’s children from a previous relationship).
  • You want specific people to be your executors — the people legally responsible for dealing with your estate when you die.
  • You want to leave something to children who may still be under 18 when you die. If so, you can set up trusts for them in your will, to hold their inheritance until they come of age or later.
  • You want to make special provision for someone who is dependent on you, such as a disabled child.
  • You want specific people to get certain assets — for example, a picture or family jewellery.
  • There is someone who would be entitled to a share of your estate under the intestacy rules but you don’t want them to get anything.
  • You own a business as sole trader or partner.
  • You own shares in a family company.
  • You own property abroad.
  • You want to avoid or reduce liability to pay care or care home fees in the future.
  • You want to nominate a legal guardian to look after your children if something happens to both you and your wife.
  • You want to leave money to charity or some other cause close to your heart.
  • You, your spouse or some other person you want to leave something to, are not UK resident, or are not domiciled for tax purposes in the UK.


Related FAQs

Expert legal advice you can rely on,
get in touch today

Please let us know you are not a robot

Your local legal experts

Why QualitySolicitors?

With QualitySolicitors your first initial assessment is free, so you can call us without worrying about being charged for a call you might not have actually needed to make. And because we place our clients are at the heart of everything we do, we make these five customer service promises to make sure you'll feel properly looked after.

This is why, in the first instance, most people looking for legal help in relation to a 'Home And Property' call QualitySolicitors for a Free Initial Assessment over the phone before requesting our Ask the Legal Expert service; which is an introductory 45-minute face-to-face consultation for £99.