The founder of MoneySavingExpert has urged couples to have an unpleasant conversation on death and get a will in place. Speaking during The Martin Lewis Money Show, Mr Lewis explained how, without a will in place, you have no control over where your assets go after you die.
Under current rules in England and Wales, known as intestacy rules, if you are married or in a civil partnership and don’t have a will, all assets and estates will go to your spouse if you have less than £270,000. However, if the estate is worth more than £270,000 and there are children involved, the spouse would inherit half of the remaining assets and the other half would be divided equally between the children.
If you die and are not married and have no children, assets will go to parents, siblings or grandparents. If you make a legal will you can decide exactly who and how much of your assets go to who after you have passed.
Speaking during the latest Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, Martin said: “If you die without a will, it is the state - not you - who decides where your assets go. It’s called the intestacy rules and they are complex and they vary by UK nations.
“If you’re cohabiting and you’ve lived together for 20 years and you’ve got 17 children - that doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law. You would not get anything without a will. So it’s even more important in those situations. I’d also suggest you consider a cohabitation agreement of what happens if you were to split up if you’re not married.”
For those over 55, Martin also recommended taking advantage of free wills month, which takes place every year in March and October. Free Wills Month brings together a group of charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their wills written or updated for free.