Coronavirus – Do I need to make a Will? What happens if I don’t make one?

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The current COVID-19 outbreak is posing a global challenge causing uncertainty for both businesses and individuals.

During such a time it is only natural to wonder what may happen in the worst-case scenario and you were to die.

A Will is a legal document setting out your wishes and instructions as to what should happen to your assets after your death.

If you die without a Will the law states to whom your assets will pass to – this is known as the Rules of Intestacy. The following link provides you with details of how your assets would be divided:

For some people, the Rules of Intestacy are suitable and mean that their assets would pass exactly how they would like them to.

However, there are more reasons to prepare a Will than to just express where your assets are to go. These include expressing your funeral wishes, appointing guardians to look after children under the age of 18, and leaving gifts of personal belongings. And it may be that the intestacy rules do not suit your situation, for instance, if you are part of an unmarried couple, or if you have children from a previous marriage/civil partnership or if you want to make a gift to a charity in your Will.

Please note that there are strict rules about the signing and witnessing of Wills which may be more difficult to organise during the Coronavirus lockdown. We will do our best to find ways through this.

Further information

There are many reasons to make a Will, not least of which is to give you peace of mind. If you have any questions or want our help in preparing a new Will then please contact the Lifetime Planning team at Ashtons Legal and we will be happy to talk all of this through with you by telephone, or using video conferencing via Microsoft Teams, FaceTime or WhatsApp. Of course, once the Coronavirus lockdown is over we will be able to meet with you in one of our offices.

This information is correct at 2.00pm on 27 March 2020.


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