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Warning as numbers dying without a Will increase

More priority should be placed on making a Will as it was revealed there has been an increase in the number of people dying without one.

According to Citizens Advice, the charity received more than 3,700 enquiries in 2015 relating to dying without a Will – known as intestate. This was more than double the figure in 2011.

Dying intestate means that the rules of intestacy will decide who inherits an estate, which may not be in line with what the deceased would have wanted. This can cause arguments within families and make a stressful time more difficult for surviving family members.

Most statistics report that around two thirds of Britons don’t have a Will, and Kathryn Harwood, head of the Wills & Estate Planning team at Napthens solicitors, warns that many people are unaware of what dying without one can mean.

She said: “These latest statistics from Citizens Advice are shocking. It is clear that, still, not enough people understand the importance of making a Will.

“This leaves people in the difficult situation where they face dealing with a relative’s estate in the best way they can.

“However, most private individuals are not experts and often struggle. We have seen cases where relatives of those who have died but not left a Will have ended up significantly out of pocket thanks to the process, surely something the deceased would never have wanted.

“It is important to make a Will as early as possible and to consult an expert when having it drawn up. The document should then be updated every few years or whenever there is a significant change in circumstances such as a child being born.”