Whatever your age, having an up-to-date and valid will is important. Dying without a will means that your wishes for who you would like to leave your estate to cannot be guaranteed. Your estate is your property, personal things and money.
If you die without a will, it is known as dying intestate. When someone dies intestate, it often takes much longer to deal with the estate and it can be more complicated and difficult for the family members responsible for sorting out your affairs. There are strict rules known as intestacy rules, which say:
- who should deal with the affairs of the person who has died
- who should inherit the estate.
This may mean that the people who inherit the estate are not the people you would have chosen.
If you have a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership with them, they may not get what you wish them to have without a will. This is the case even if you have lived with a partner for years. It is worth getting advice about this from a solicitor or from someone at Citizens Advice.