Sometimes life takes us by surprise, and as much as we may lay the best plans, we don’t always plan for death. Life evolves as we grow, new family members are born, new relationships start or fail, and we move house, location or jobs. Sometimes it can move faster than our life admin can keep up with. You may have the best intention of passing your property to your loved ones, or distributing inheritance money and sentimental items;, but if you don’t record your wishes anywhere, such as in a legal will, your family may find it hard to achieve what you desire.
People can be unpredictable and they do not always store a will somewhere logical or easy to find. The Waseeya app can help collect important documents and store them in a safe, easy-to-find place.
So, what happens to your estate if you die without a will? Or how do you know what to do with a loved one’s estate if you don’t know their wishes?
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that tells people what you want to happen to your estate in the event of your death, how you want your assets to be distributed and who you want your beneficiaries to be. With Waseeya you can make a faith-based will, a bespoke will or a conventional will.
What should you do if you can’t find someone’s will after they die?
Firstly, make sure you’ve looked everywhere it might be stored. It could be handwritten and stashed in a locked cupboard or bookshelf. It might be electronic, filed under important documents on a computer, or even saved to the desktop. Make sure that you’re confident you’ve found the latest copy, that’s signed and dated by themselves, as well as witnessed by two others.
If you really can’t find a will, you can also check with the local courts to find out if a will was published historically. Finally, you will have to submit a certificate of death for your loved one to the court to confirm that there is no existing will.
What are the next steps to sort out the estate once someone has passed away?
Making arrangements for someone’s estate if they die without a will can be a bit more time-consuming than other scenarios, but it doesn’t have to be challenging. The law will make decisions for you on who will inherit the estate according to the rules of intestacy.
You must apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’ which will allow you to value the estate, pay debts and distribute the remaining estate to heirs and beneficiaries. Once you’ve been approved as an administrator you can either sort the estate out yourself or use a probate specialist for support.
How to apply for a grant of probate
You will need to find and make six certified copies of the following documents:
- A death certificate
- A birth certificate
- If married, the marriage or civil partnership certificate
Finally, in the event of someone’s death without a will you can apply to:
- Value the estate
- Collect the deceased assets
- Work out inheritance tax
- Apply for a grant of probate
Dealing with someone’s estate in the event of their death need not be difficult, and there’s plenty of support out there to help you through the process. By starting these conversations with our loved ones when we’re alive we can establish what we want to happen in the event of their death, even if there is no will.
To avoid any doubt in how you want your own inheritance plan executed, start writing your will with waseeya.com for a quick, easy and supported way to create your own legacy, today.