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winkie

Just A Thought About Wills

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What are the implications of not making a will?

One other important thought.....with a growing number of password activated on-line accounts, savings and investments that provide little or no statements or paperwork, how will others ever know of the existence of these.......what eventually happens to the hidden/lost dormant funds? ;)

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If you don't have a will then the estate is parcelled up according to intestacy rules. Which are *not* necessarily what you'd expect. Plus the admin is a bit more cumbersome under those rules.

Good point about all the online stuff. I had to do the probate on my brother's estate a few years ago. Thankfully he'd made a list of all online accounts (secured in a password-protected app) which made the admin easier. But who has the time/forethought to do that - even now I haven't got around to doing it myself!

In terms of bank and savings account you can ask a bank to search for all acounts related to the deceased. But you have to do it for every institution you think they had an account with - there's no central place you can go to get a search done over all institutions. There should be - finding and closing down bank, savings and share accounts was the biggest hassle we had apart from dealing with a housing association (but that's another story).

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If you don't have a will then the estate is parcelled up according to intestacy rules. Which are *not* necessarily what you'd expect. Plus the admin is a bit more cumbersome under those rules.

Good point about all the online stuff. I had to do the probate on my brother's estate a few years ago. Thankfully he'd made a list of all online accounts (secured in a password-protected app) which made the admin easier. But who has the time/forethought to do that - even now I haven't got around to doing it myself!

In terms of bank and savings account you can ask a bank to search for all acounts related to the deceased. But you have to do it for every institution you think they had an account with - there's no central place you can go to get a search done over all institutions. There should be - finding and closing down bank, savings and share accounts was the biggest hassle we had apart from dealing with a housing association (but that's another story).

Not making a will can create problems and extra cost, when it needn't be like that, so would imo be wise for everyone to do so, however much or little you have or own......the next question is executors, you said you did that for your brother, so to be as forward thinking as he was made it easier for you to undertake that administrative and can be time consuming task.....I would imagine it slower and quite costly to nominate a professional to do the work.....

Yes I agree, it would be a good idea to have a central office to search organisations by deceased name to help locate unknown accounts investments and policies...

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Lots of predatory solicitors out there who say they'll do the probate work for you. But it is slower and in reality all they do is collate the information and charge you £5k+ for the privilege. You still have to submit all the forms yourself. It might be worth it if you have a complicated estate but my brother's was pretty simple and we didn't find the probate admin itself that difficult, it was more dealing with banks etc, Most were fast and ok but one or two (*ahem* Santander) didn't have a clue which delayed submitting the forms.

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.....maybe now is the time to approach people you know, asking that difficult question that few want to face nor think about.....could save future high costs and frustration, not to mention family hurt and animosity.......most peoples lives are not straight forward are more complicated. ;)

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I have been planning to write a will for ages but never got round to it. Is it actually worth it if you're young i.e under 30? My main concern is that if I do have kids/get married then all of the beneficiaries will need to be changed or updated, i.e £££.

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What are the implications of not making a will?

One other important thought.....with a growing number of password activated on-line accounts, savings and investments that provide little or no statements or paperwork, how will others ever know of the existence of these.......what eventually happens to the hidden/lost dormant funds? ;)

Don't know about anybody else, but we have given our kids an info sheet of where the money is. I did it first when Mr B and I were going on holiday after it struck me that if our plane crashed, they wouldn't know where to start. Mind you we need to update it now, changes here and there.

Being executor is enough of a hassle anyway.

As for not making a will, I don't understand why people don't, if they have anything to leave. I used to watch Heir Hunters now and then and often a quite substantial sum would go to relatives who didn't even know of the person's existence, or hadn't seen or heard of them for 50 years, whereas neighbours who'd been very good to them and helping them for 20 years got nothing.

Not to mention IMO better to leave it to charity if you have nobody, or think you don't, rather than let it go to the Treasury.

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I don't have a will for the simple reason it's a way of becoming immortal. I once read that on average people die within seven years of writing a will, hence the longer you put it off, the longer you live.

I presume the wife will get it all anyhow as I have no other dependents.

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Don't know about anybody else, but we have given our kids an info sheet of where the money is. I did it first when Mr B and I were going on holiday after it struck me that if our plane crashed, they wouldn't know where to start. Mind you we need to update it now, changes here and there.

Being executor is enough of a hassle anyway.

As for not making a will, I don't understand why people don't, if they have anything to leave. I used to watch Heir Hunters now and then and often a quite substantial sum would go to relatives who didn't even know of the person's existence, or hadn't seen or heard of them for 50 years, whereas neighbours who'd been very good to them and helping them for 20 years got nothing.

Not to mention IMO better to leave it to charity if you have nobody, or think you don't, rather than let it go to the Treasury.

Quite, best to think and plan ahead.....can save a lot of pain, money and heartache. Also peoples lives are so much more complicated nowadays, what with various marriages and children, step children and whatnot.....to leave without leaving instructions could well create bad feeling, disputes and lawyers feeling very much richer.....peoples responsibility married or not, with kids or not....something is better than nothing at all. ;)

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I have written a will for a couple of years now and update it every 12-18 months. You can do it yourself quite easily - you just need to choose a trustworthy executor.

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I have written a will for a couple of years now and update it every 12-18 months. You can do it yourself quite easily - you just need to choose a trustworthy executor.

.....and have two independent witnesses, to witness the signing who have no interest whatsoever in the contents of the will. ;)

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.....and have two independent witnesses, to witness the signing who have no interest whatsoever in the contents of the will. ;)

yup, did that each time. Fun asking a lawyer in Hong Kong - a mate - as one of the witnesses when he insisted on reading every para to ensure I wasn't cocking uP!

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I saw the will of an elderly cousin of my mother's. It was handwritten in very wobbly old writing, evidently done during his last illness and witnessed by a couple of neighbours, but perfectly valid. However his affairs were very simple - he had left everything to the lady friend he'd had for over 60 years! And boy had she earned it, since for many of those years he'd lived with a demanding and cantankerous old mother the lady friend had been a slave to.

By contrast an aunt of mine had used a solicitor - she left everything to be divided equally between many nieces and nephews. Which would seem to be simple enough, but she'd added that if any of them should die in the meantime their share was to go to any children they might have, 'whether natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate'. I would never have thought to put that last bit in - presumably it was on the solicitor's advice, to make her wishes crystal clear.

BTW, whoever said the wife would presumably get everything if you haven't made a will, not sure that's the case, if you have any close relatives. Best check it out just in case.

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With no will who does it go to if you're living on your own, no kids? Parents?

Assuming no descendants of any kind, then it's shared equally between the parents.

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With no will who does it go to if you're living on your own, no kids? Parents?

Partner first

No partner? then kids (or if they're dead, grandkids, great-grandkids etc)

No partner or kids? Then parents

No partner, kids or parents? Then siblings or (if they're dead) their children

No partner, kids, parents, siblings or nephews/nieces? Then half-siblings or (if they're dead) their children

No partner, kids, parents, siblings, nephews/nieces, half-siblings or half-nephews/nieces? Then grandparents

No partner, kids, parents, siblings, half-siblings or grandparents? Then aunts or uncles

No partner, kids, parents, siblings, half-siblings, grandparents or aunts/uncles? Then half-aunts/uncles

None of the above? It all goes to the State!

This is for England and Wales. Different rules might apply in Scotland and N.Ireland

see https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will/y

(edit: got confused about nephews/nieces)

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Seems a bit drastic. Just write a will - you can put whatever you want in that.

+1

If it bothers you some unworthy so-and-so enjoying your money when you're gone then make those wishes very clear.

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