Legal advice about wills at Ringrose Law in Newark, Lincolnshire
Having conversations with people about dying and death is not easy, especially if it’s with those close to you.
Some may feel fear, awkwardness and even embarrassment on opening up on what is such a sensitive and personal matter.
But here’s why we should not shy away from the subject and instead embrace the inevitable.
Dying Matters Awareness Week - a British initiative that aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life - will take place between Monday, May 13 and Sunday, May 19.
This year’s theme begs the question ‘Are We Ready?’ and one law firm in Newark is calling on members of the public to stay prepared by making sure their wills are in order.
“Dying and bereavement are subjects that many people find difficult to discuss, or even think about and that’s totally understandable,” said Emma Van-der-Sluis Head of the team at Ringrose Law in Newark.
“But avoiding the subject is actually worse. Around one in three people die every year without making a will.
“In fact, the number of enquiries relating to people dying without making a will, or ‘intestacy’ has more than doubled in recent years.”
When a person dies without making a will, their assets are shared out according to the rules of intestacy.
Intestacy rules make no provision for unmarried partners, irrespective of how long they’ve been together.
This could potentially not be in the way the deceased would have wished, which is why legal experts say it is better to act now before it’s too late.
Even if a person is married, their spouse may not inherit as much as you wish without a valid will.
If, however, they are married but have separated, the intestacy rules provide that their spouse would still inherit.
Another example is if a person dies without a spouse or children, then their estate will be divided among the surviving relatives in accordance with the intestacy rules.
And if there are no surviving relatives, then they will be turned over to the Crown.
“It is so important not to be caught out and to ensure your wishes are followed,” continued Emma
“That is why you should not hold off making a will.
“When making a will, you decide who you would like to deal with everything when you pass away, specify who you would like to receive your assets and personal belongings and even appoint a guardian for your children.”
Even those who already have wills should have experts take a second look at them. It is estimated that over a quarter of wills in the UK are out of date.
“If you have already made a will, but have not reviewed it recently, then there may be changes that you need to make.
“You should always look this over every few years to check that it is still matches your current intentions.”
Those who would like to discuss making a will can get in touch with a member of the Ringrose Law team.
Clients can call on 01636 59440 or visit the official website by clicking here.
The offices are based at 11 Castlegate in Newark (NG24 1AZ).