Monday, 18 February 2013

A rather touchy subject...

First of all, welcome to my new follower Frances Hilder.

Anyone who was a fan of The Good Life, will be saddened to hear today, of the death of Richard Briers who played Tom. Paul Eddington (Jerry), died quite a few years ago. That officially leaves Penelope Keith (Margo) and Felicity Kendal (Barbara). DB and I think of ourselves as Tom and Barbara, he is often to be heard whistling that little ditty that Tom did.
 
In real life, women generally, but not always, outlive men. If you are married or in a civil relationship and your partner dies without leaving a will, things whilst being difficult to cope with, will not be all doom and gloom as shown here in this extract:
 

Married partners and civil partners

Married partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. But partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy.
If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:

all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and the first £250,000 of the estate, and a life interest in half of the remaining estate. This means that if you are entitled to the life interest, you cannot get rid of or spend that part of the estate. You can, however, have the benefit of it during your lifetime.

However, if you are simply living with someone and they die intestate (without leaving a will) you are probably going to have many problems to deal with at a time when quite frankly, you could do without them.

Who cannot inherit

The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a will:
 
Unmarried partners, lesbian or gay partners who are not in a civil partnership, relations by marriage, close friends and/or carers.

If children are involved, it gets even more complicated. If you want to find out more, then go to this page here

My topic for discussion today is due to knowing people who find themselves in such a predicament. For example, I know someone who has children by a previous relationship (not marriage). She seems to be under the illusion that she will inherit everything from her ex partner because of the children, she couldn't be more wrong. He hasn't made a will and has no intention of doing so.

I know many people personally as well as those whose blog's I read, who are living in these relationships. Nothing wrong with that at all providing each has made a will. If you haven't, I suggest you seriously think about it. Never think you are not old enough or that you don't have anything to leave or it will never happen to you because it will.

I'm not advocating getting married as many people have done that and got the scars to prove it. Each to their own. I'm simply reminding folk to think hard about what they would do should their common law partner die. Would you be able to stay in the home? If you have never worked, how would you support yourself? Would you be entitled to any of his pension (this is still something you can deal with as well before anything happens). Would any of his National Insurance payments be transferable to you? 

It is also too easy to think that it will be primarily the female dealing with all of this - not so. You also need to make a will to enable your DB to benefit after you have gone.

Expected death is one thing. You may have the chance to discuss things and still get them sorted out in time. An unexpected or self inflicted death is quite another kettle of fish. You will have no warning, no time, no property or financial expectations!

Don't keep fooling yourself it will all be alright. Sort it out whilst you can. 

 

 


 

5 comments:

  1. A really good post, and one everyone should take note of. We are just in the process (finally) of finalising our wills, the final drafts have been okayed and we will be signing them this Friday.

    We both have ex's, children from former marriages and in the case of Lovely Hubby step children from a former marriage too and we wanted everything to be easier for the other if anything should happen to one of us, with no fights or claims from children or ex partners to make life harder for the survivor.

    Our wishes are now down in black and white and legally binding, it's the least you can do for each other if you truly love each other, and it is something everyone should do as soon as possible.

    Sue xx

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    1. Good, I am glad to hear it. When I worked at a local school, one of the secretaries had a child by her partner. They found out that should she die, he wouldn't necessarily be able to keep the child despite it genetically being his. Her parents could demand custody. To prevent this and be safe, he needed to adopt her (his genetic child) how bizarre.

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  2. We did our wills a couple of years ago in Will Aid month where certain solicitors will do wills for a charitable donation. I think it's November, which is a lot of help right now, I know!

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  3. I read recently that most people die intestate ?
    I think that sometimes it is more complicated if people re-marry. Great post.
    I am not in a blended family and our wills are very simple; to each other then equal shares to our five children. Not leaving anything to grandchildren unless we survive any of our children then their share goes to them. Totally equal, no fights or hard feelings; seen much too much of that in my extended family where many people are not speaking to each other over inheritances.
    With the child; it depends if the father s name is on the birth certificate. Grandparents have no rights at all here in the States regarding grandchildren and all things being equal the parent would get custody.

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  4. I work in the Probate department of a big firm of solicitors - and see many cases of people dying intestate. It really is extra heart ache for those left behind. The catastrophic accidents are the worst where people die in road accidents and the like but haven't made their wills. We can all think that that bad stuff won't happen to us but in reality it could happen to any one of us at any time. A little planning now saves months of uncertainty and worry for loved ones left behind. :)

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