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What You Can Do If A Loved One Dies Intestate

Posted on Monday 11th May 2015 by Stuart Bradford

Comedian Rik Mayall died without leaving a will – and now the taxman could take a chunk of his £1.2 million estate. A major worry at a time when his bereaved family least needs it.Stuart Bradford - Solicitor, Coles Miller

What if the same thing happens to you? What if a loved one suddenly dies intestate?

In theory, the surviving family can apply for a Deed of Variation so the estate goes to the widow.

By doing so, you and your other family members are effectively saying: “This is what the deceased would have wanted.”

It does not have to be difficult – but one should not be complacent. Deeds of Variation are not a perfect solution. It would have been far better if the deceased had written a will.

For a Deed of Variation to be valid, all the children involved must be aged over 18 and everyone must be in agreement.

And here’s the problem: increases in divorce, second marriages and cohabitation have made modern family structures much more complex.

There may be several tranches of children from different marriages or relationships. So they may not all be aged over 18. And they may not get on.

There is an easier way. Get a will. They’re much quicker, easier and more cost effective than you think.

Talking about wills with your family – having ‘that conversation’ – should not be a morbid taboo. It should be a matter of common sense.

After all, by being sensible and thinking ahead, you’re showing how much you care for your loved ones.

Don’t put off talking about your will. Get expert and friendly legal advice from Coles Miller Partner Stuart Bradford, 01202 673011.

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