Legal News | 24.08.23
Single and ready to….do some estate planning?
Planning for what should happen to your estate when you die can seem simple when you know a) exactly who you would like to benefit and b) who you would choose to administer your estate, but what if that’s not the case? What happens if you don’t have a spouse/civil partner and 2.4 children?
Since 1972, the age at which we in the UK have chosen to marry has risen from an average of 24 years for women and 27 years for men to a 2019 average of 37 and 39 years respectively.1 Coupled with the fact that marriage or civil partnership account for only 50.4% of the nation’s relationship status2, there are plenty of people who are either delaying getting hitched or choosing simply to remain single.
One area where you shouldn’t however delay is planning for the future.
If you die without a Will, leaving no spouse/civil partner or children, your estate will pass in accordance with the intestacy rules. This may mean that your parents inherit your estate; failing which, your estate could pass to your siblings or more distant relatives or even to the state. In a world of evermore complex familial relationships, this may mean that someone you don’t like or even know could benefit from your estate.
If you don’t have a partner or children, you might want a Will that leaves your estate to:
- One or more friends
- Charity – if you leave 10% or more of your estate to UK registered charities you may also benefit from a reduced inheritance tax bill on your death
- A trust to take care of your pet(s) after your death
- A relative, close or distant, but whom you want to benefit
- Or even a work colleague!
In terms of choosing an executor to administer your estate, this could be a person mentioned above, or you could choose a professional, such as your solicitor.
No matter your personal situation, by creating a Will you are ensuring that your wishes are respected. You are not only protecting yourself but also your loved ones and the things that are most important to you. Having your affairs in order ensures that everything you worked hard for is left to the people, charities or organisations that are most important to you.
1According to statista.com
2According to ONS data