Holiday Checklist

Katie Love explores why it is so important to have a Will in place when planning your annual family holiday.

Choosing the right location, the nicest hotel and the most convenient flight times are all things we consider when it’s time for the annual family holiday. However, should we be adding Wills to that checklist? Nobody likes to think that things could go wrong on a holiday but, if they were to, it’s important that you have your affairs in order to ensure that your wishes are followed.

It is a common misconception that when you die everything you own will pass by default to the most important people in your life (be it a spouse or children), but that is not always the case. If you die without a valid Will in place, you are said to have died ‘intestate’ and the Rules of Intestacy will apply.

The rules surrounding intestate estates are complex, and family members and loved ones are not always guaranteed to inherit. Under current rules if some dies ‘intestate’ (without a will) leaving behind a spouse and children, the spouse will inherit a fixed amount of £322,000 plus 50% of everything else owned by the deceased as well as any personal chattels (possessions such as contents of home or car). The remaining 50% of the estate will be shared amongst any children of the deceased (this includes any children from previous relationships and estranged children).  At this point it is important to note that an unmarried partner of the deceased (even if they are the parent of the deceased’s child / children) will not benefit from anything under the Intestacy Rules.

If a person dies without a will and has no spouse or children, wider members of the family would stand to inherit in priority and, if no relatives qualify, everything would pass to the Crown. Having a Will in place that deals with who should inherit your estate gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your estate will be inherited as per your wishes.

If you have children under the age of 18, then it is important that you consider appointing a guardian in your Will who would look after them if they were under 18 at the time of your death.

If you don’t appoint a guardian, the courts will decide who will look after your children in the event of your death.  It is not guaranteed that this will be the person/people you would choose, so it is strongly recommended that you include a guardianship clause in your Will so that you can make the decision yourself.

At RDP Law, we offer a quality and compassionate service. You are allocated a dedicated lawyer who will guide you through the process from start to finish. Contact us today on 01633 413500 to speak to Katie or email