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What happens when someone dies without a will?

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The comedian Rik Mayall recently died without having a Will in place and his family are now reported to be facing a significant inheritance tax liability of up to £60,000 on his estate.

Recent research from Macmillan Cancer Support finds that not having a Will is a common issue for people in Britain.  Whilst 93% of people describe themselves as organised, the research finds that a staggering 59% do not have a Will.

The research touches on some of the consequences if you die without putting a Will in place, with an estimated 1 million people have a serious argument after a loved one dies with no Will in place, and nearly 20% of those people saying that the argument had gone on to break up the family.

Common reasons people gave for not having a Will included:

The survey also revealed that a third of those surveyed had promised something to a loved one but had not actually included this promise in a Will.  This also increases the risk of family arguments.

Putting a Will in place before you die allows you to set out your wishes clearly and means that your estate will pass to the people you want to inherit.  If inheritance tax is a concern, having a well-drafted Will is essential before death in order to ensure that your estate is left in the most tax-efficient way possible. 

If you would like advice on your Will or any other private client matter please contact me, Stephanie Parish on 0113 336 3355 or via email stephanie.parish@clarionsolicitors.com

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