If you die without a will or without a valid will your hard earned wealth is divided under a government formula.
The formula is called “The Intecstacy Rules” that set out who gets what.
You do not want these rules to apply to your estate – so the simple way to avoid this is to have a valid will.
So often I see people who have made their own wills using a wills kit or they have downloaded something from the internet that are simply not valid. Wills that have not been signed and witnessed correctly, undated wills, will containing ambiguous clauses, the person marrying or divorcing after they made their will can all cause a will to be declared void or invalid. Once this happens, your stuck with the Intestacy rules .
So how do the Intestacy rules work – well that depends on who survives you. Many people think that their estate goes to there spouse even if they don’t have a will. Wrong. If the deceased has children (including children from a past relationship) the entire estate is divided unequally between the spouse and children. This mandatory division of an estate will usually lead to assets (such as a house) being sold so as to pay all of the beneficiaries. Further, many people I see do not want one or more of their children to inherit for a variety of reasons or they want their children to receive an unequal share of their estate – again – the simple way to do this and avoid the problems arising is to have a will prepared by a professional lawyer.