Do You Need a Will?

Glenn Tortal (Student)

Often people fail to make a Will to ensure that their family, spouse or civil partner are protected when they die. Some think that it is not necessary, but it is essential, especially if you are not married to your partner.

Why does a person have to make a Will?

  • Death is uncertain – unless you are prepared and the Will is in place and validly created, your loved ones may have difficulties accessing your estate.
  • Faster claims process – If you have a will the administration of the estate can often be quicker.
  • Avoid intestacy rules – English law provides stringent rules of who can inherit an estate when there is no Will. In most cases where someone is in a relationship (not married/civil partners), the significant other will not be entitled to an estate of a person who died automatically. In contrast, even if you are married, your spouse or civil partner will only receive your entire estate if there are no children in the family. If there are children, then they may be entitled to a share of the estate- this depends on the value of any assets. With a Will in place, it ensures that your wishes regarding your estate can be carried out.
  • Inheritance Tax – A will may be able to help you reduce any inheritance tax liability. At the very least a legal advisor will be able to help you deal with your assets in your lifetime to reduce or negate inheritance tax.
  • Gift or donation of an estate to charity – In some circumstances, you may have a charity or church close to your heart that you wish to donate to. To make sure this happens, you must have a valid Will.
  • Protect your partner if not married – As mentioned above, an unmarried couple will not be entitled to your estate under the intestacy rules but a valid Will can allow you to provide them with total protection in the event of your death.

Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) provides free legal advice on probate  matters. For enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact:


Telephone: 01782 294800


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *