More Women Are Victims Of Intestacy Than Divorce

More Women Are Victims Of INTESTACY Than Divorce

A woman, on average, lives longer than a man. So she is more likely to have the difficulties of intestacy – the legal term for being left in a mess because her husband didn’t make a will.

Many men assume that, on their death, all they own will automatically go to their wives. This isn’t so. When a man dies intestate, his brothers, sisters and even cousins may also have a claim on what he owned. His widow may have to sell the house to pay off his relations.

Dying without leaving a will can be a disaster for women whose husband dies without making a will to protect her interests. Many people assume that all they own will automatically go to their spouses. This is not necessarily the case. When a person dies intestate brothers, sisters and even cousins may have a claim on what he owned.

Find out how you can ensure your loved ones are properly provided for. All the information are spell out in this website. Take your time to read it.

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For your knowledge and reading pleasure….

Where there’s a will…there won’t be a vicious family dispute.

Intestacy (without a will) is when someone dies without leaving a will. Their estate is then divided according to strict legal guidelines, which often bear little relation to their wishes.

More than 90 per cent of people die without making a will. But, morbid as it may be, death is not just something that happens to the elderly. Cancer, car accidents and a host of other nasties can claim us at any time, and for anybody with children it’s vital.

Why don’t we make wills? Is it too depressing? Are we in denial, suffering from the “It’ll never happen to me” delusion? Or is it because it seems terribly complicated? For some it’s because they think they don’t own anything of any great value. But personal possessions can be terribly important to relatives and friends for sentimental reasons.

And, of course, there’s the custody question. If both parents die, who has custody of the children if you haven’t written it into your will? The in-laws from hell, or the godmother?

There is bound to be a nasty battle at a time of deep grief which can only worsen the effect your child. It’s a parent’s responsibility to prevent this by making it very clear who you want to bring up your kids. Now that women often pay half the mortgage or buy their own homes, it’s vital that they make a will.

Wills are also important for charity – a certain per cent of their incomes is from legacies. Many people leave something to an animal rescue centre, children’s home or environmental organisation. But without a will, these charities cannot benefit. The reality is stark. “There is still a lot of injustice in the system. The law means that if you die intestate you may not provide for your family or children. If you don’t make a will you have no choices. If you die intestate the law is laid down in stone and you can’t change it.”

There are plenty of examples of those injustices, including:

*If, as a pensioner, you have no remaining family, your money goes to the Government.

*If your husband walks off with another woman and you die before getting divorced, he still gets all your assets.

*If neither you nor your unmarried partner has made a will, but you share a house and he dies, his share goes to his parents. They can then force you to sell your half to get their share, or – worse – move in.

*If you leave your husband after years of abuse and you die, he still gets everything. *Your husband is younger than you and has made a will. You die together in a car crash. By law the older person is deemed to have died first, so everything goes straight to his estate and is then distributed according to his will. If you don’t have any kids, his family and relatives will get your money.

*Even if you have lived with him, unmarried and childless, for 30 years, if he dies without making a will, everything goes to his family.

*You can only contest a will if you played a large part in the deceased’s life and were left out of the legacy. You cannot contest intestacy.

LEGACIES TO DIE FOR

*Oxford recluse Dr Nikolaus Polgar, who rarely ventured outside and looked like a tramp, stunned neighbours when he left £1.7m to animal charities in April – even though he didn’t own a pet.

*Ethel Turnbull left £10,000 to needy students at the Oxford College of Further Education in March 1991. Her husband worked there for 21 years.

*Elisabeth Long, thought to be a penniless widow, left £30,000 to Sir Michael Sobell House at the Churchill Hospital and £160,000 to cancer research in January 1984.

*Celia Marsh, a former teacher at Headington School, left £1.2m to the school this year. No-one even knew she was a millionaire. The money is being used to set up new scholarships and bursaries.

FANCY THAT

*The longest will was made by Mrs Frederica Evelyn Sitwell Cook in 1925. It was 95,940 words long

*More women are victims of intestacy than divorce.

*More men die intestate than of cancer .

*Anthony Hugh Scott wrote in his 1983 will: “To my first wife Sue, whom I always promised to mention in my will – hello Sue.”

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW

*Your assets include the price of your belongings, money, shares and the value of your house or car, and can add up to more than you think.

FAMOUS FAMILY FIGHTS

*Frank Sinatra’s will is being contested by his many wives.

*John Lennon left unequal amounts to his two children. The bulk of his estate went to Sean, his son with Yoko Ono. His first son Julian has just received an undisclosed sum from her after years of wrangling.

*Princess Diana did not change her will after she got divorced from Prince Charles, causing all sorts of legal and taxation problems relating to legacies for the children, Princes William and Harry.

*Anne-Nicole Smith married a billionaire pensioner in a wheelchair who left her the lot. His family are still contesting it

*Several of the ex-wives of leading movie actor Richard Burton contested his will, which was worth a small fortune.

*Lisa Marie Presley had great problems because of Elvis’s will

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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