Making a Will is the only way of ensuring that when you die your estate passes to your chosen beneficiaries. If you die without one (intestate) then the state will decide how your estate is distributed.
This is the name given to the person appointed in the will to manage your estate after you have died. They can also be a beneficiary if you wish. They do not have to be a solicitor or bank and are frequently members of the family or close friends.
The will is not void; however any gift to a divorced spouse lapses unless a contrary intention appears in the will.
Many people rely on the phrase Common Law Husband and Wife thinking if one dies the other will inherit. This is NOT the case. The phrase has no legal standing. A will is essential to provide peace of mind for your partner and also guardians for your children.
The godparents may be appropriate as guardians however without them being appointed as such in a will it would be up to the court to decide who looks after your children if you died.
This is sometimes known as Bloodline Planning, ensuring that your assets go to your children and grandchildren, not ex-spouses or even the children of a new spouse after re marriage. Appropriate trust planning within a will can protect against the possible loss of your estate.
The new guidance from the British Banking Association says;………“ If one joint account holders loses mental capacity banks can decide whether to restrict the use of the account to essential transactions only until a deputy has been appointed or a power of attorney has been registered.”
This means that you DO need a Lasting Power of Attorney even for Joint accounts if you wish to have full access to your money if one of you should become incapacitated.