What happens if you die without making a Will

What happens if you die without making a Will

What happens if you die without having made a Will?

If you do not have a Will in place on your death then your estate must be administered in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

Only your husband or wife or civil partner and close relatives will be able to inherit your estate. A cohabitee has no rights under the rules of intestacy.

The estate will need to be divided as follows:-

  • If you are married or in a civil partnership your spouse will receive your entire estate.
  • But if you also have children, your spouse will receive your personal items and the first £250,000 of your estate. The remainder of your estate will be divided into two parts – the first part going to your spouse and the second part to be divided equally between your children.
  • If you are unmarried but have children, they will receive your estate in equal shares.If they have predeceased you but have children of their own, their children or grandchildren (if their parent has died) will receive their share. This includes adopted children, but not step-children.
  • If you are unmarried and you do not have children, then the following relatives will receive your estate in the following order of priority:-
  1. Your parents,
  2. If your parents have predeceased you, your brothers and sisters of the whole blood or their children if your brothers and sisters have also died before you,
  3. If the above does not apply, then your half-siblings and if they have died before you their children,
  4. If your siblings and half-siblings (and their children) have predeceased you, your grandparents,
  5. If your grandparents have predeceased you, your aunts and uncles or their children,
  6. If the above does not apply, then your aunts and uncles of the half blood or their children,
  7. If none of the above applies, your estate will go to the Crown.

To ensure your estate passes in accordance with your wishes contact our Private Client Department to make a Will.

For more information on Wills

Contact our Private Client Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Nicole’s Work Experience

Nicole’s Work Experience

Being offered a place on GoodyBurrett’s summer placement scheme was a pleasant surprise. After submitting my application on the day of the deadline I truly thought I had missed my chance. For someone who is normally so prepared, I had convinced myself that I had left it too late and would make an instant bad impression. However, after several months passed, I received an email asking me to attend an interview later on in the week. The interview was extremely relaxed, which reassured me and made me realise that the employees of the firm were right for me.

I was given the opportunity and responsibility of a variety of tasks during my time at GoodyBurrett:

  • Client Meetings:   My 2 weeks placement went by so rapidly as the Family Department ensured I was busy. I attended client meetings, which is not something I necessarily expected. Attending meetings concerning on-going cases was a real eye opener for me. It was fascinating seeing how knowledgeable Sue Devereaux was and how she managed to tailor her advice for each client and ensure that it was explained in a manner they could comprehend. If I could be half as good as her when I (hopefully) qualify, I would be extremely proud.
  • Attendance Notes: I initially (and perhaps naively) thought that I was just sitting in on the client meeting to simply witness what it was like; however, I was asked to draft Attendance Notes. This at first was extremely daunting, as this would be sent to the client. However, Sue provided me with guidance and an example of an Attendance Note she had recently completed. This enabled me to base my work on hers with alterations made before sending it out. Such a task was extremely useful, as it demonstrated that I did indeed take sufficient notes and was then able to formulate an Attendance Note, but it also aided me in refining my legal explanations.
  • Chronologies:   A task I perhaps enjoyed the most was formulating chronologies. Having to look through case files and extract the relevant informati  on for a timeline was a lengthy process, but I really enjoyed learning about the case in detail and seeing how the process works.
  • Registration of land:   I was also trusted with completing official electronic documents which was new for me. However, I was aided by the lovely secretaries with whom I was sitting with for the day. Their help (and knowing that they could help me) really reassured me.
  • Schedule of Assets:   I was given the task of rummaging through case files to establish the extent of assets both parties had. This is an important element of financial proceedings and requires attention to detail. This was a very lengthy process and rather difficult, especially as there were gaps in the timeline. However, it was still an interesting task to carry out and help was of course available.
  • Reception:  During my time here I was entrusted with covering lunch breaks on the reception but also covering a whole day during my first week. I was dreading my whole day on reception but thanks to everybody else’s help when I did not quite know what to do, it went much better than expected. There is much more to just answering a phone, I sometimes had to try and decipher what clients were saying and who they actually needed to talk to.
  • Will witness: I was asked to attend a codicil signing at a client’s home and also be a witness to a will in the office. This may seem dull at first, but I wanted to have a wide range of experiences whilst here and GoodyBurrett made sure of that.
  • Letters and research:   I  was asked by the litigation team to compose a letter to a troublesome neighbour. I had to undertake research to see what the legality was in regards to the complaints. I initially really struggled with how to formulate my arguments and what tone to undertake. However, I was reassured that I was heading in the right direction and of course cannot get it right first time or even second time round, these things really do take practice.

On busy days, I had to manage several tasks from different departments at once. This was difficult at first as I did not fully know how to attribute importance to each task. I was also worried about performing the tasks ineffectively, and therefore tried to delay them. However, after I had settled in and learnt that everyone is more than happy to help and are just grateful that you have tried your best, the burden was significantly diminished.

I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks at GoodyBurrett, not only because of immersing myself amongst legal work but also because of the people. What I was mostly afraid of was that the staff would become irritated by my questions and inability to understand tasks that are second nature to them. My worries could not have been more misplaced.

This placement has truly widened my options and given me an insight into how a local law firm operates. If like me you have been committing to retail jobs over the summers rather than relevant experience for your aspired career (due to nerves), apply to GoodyBurrett, the time flies by and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Nicole Newell

For more information on work experience at GoodyBurrett

Contact us on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Nicole’s work experience

Nicole’s work experience

Honoured to be given a two-week work experience placement, I left GoodyBurrettknowing that Law was definitely the career path I wanted to pursue. My ambition to study Law is attributable to many reasons, including the urge to contribute to an ever-changing industry. After my studies I aspire to become a Barrister.

My time at GoodyBurrettconfirmed this decision as it was insightful, educational and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. One thing that stood out for me is the way I was sought out to partake in practical assignments that would contribute to the firm- not just small errands unrelated to the career such as organising an office or making tea for clients- and I was encouraged to throw myself into it all, even tasks that I had no prior knowledge or experience of.

In the two weeks of me being here I was exposed to Property, Family, Civil Litigation and Wills&Probate Law, only some of what is on offer at GoodyBurrett. All the departments were engaging and provided good guidance with any tasks they set me, allowing me to understand my strengths and weaknesses outside academia. Some of the responsibilities I was given included:

Covering at the Reception                     This is the place that clients first enter, where meetings are organised, where payments are taken, where important letters and documents are delivered to and so much more. I quickly learnt that working at the Reception required adept multi-tasking skills. Tasked with communicating to multiple clients and colleagues, this experience helped to build my confidence when interacting with adults. After this experience I must commend Heather and Shelly for their regular work at the Reception.

Attending Office Meetings/Presentations                   On one occasionI was invited to an office presentation where one of the UK’s leading laboratory organisations came in to discuss DNA, drug and alcohol testing for court-directed purposes. As I watched the various technical apparatus and testing demonstrations, I remember being amazed at the capabilities of technological advancements. This presentation was certainly a testament to how the industry of Law is evolving, one of the reasons for my intrigue in Law. On another occasion, I got to experience a seasonal meeting that the firm coordinates.

Attending Client Meetings                   The departments of Family, Civil Litigation and Wills&Probate kindly welcomed me into their workspaces, informing me of the structure of their day-to-day work and inviting me to attend their client meetings which allowed me to experience this first-hand. I can say that no client meeting was even vaguely similar and every case was fascinating. After each meeting, I was instructed to collate the bundle of notes I had taken in order to write up an Initial Attendance Note. This was a new experience for me and similarly I discovered that each department formatted theirs slightly differently. The end result was very rewarding and it alerted me to how people are personally affected by the work of lawyers.

Writing Letters and Articles                    Tasks such as this greatly improved my written communication skills and even my ability to time-manage. Whether it was writing to existing or prospective clients, writing on behalf of companies or at one point writing to younger students, I engaged in every matter all of which drew upon different fields of Law. For this reason I was able to to develop my knowledge in some of the areas of the Law I was not so familiar with. I also subsequently gained a better understanding of how to draft a legal document.  

Conducting Research                    In an industry that is constantly developing, due to the introduction of new laws and policies, it is important to keep up to date. I was allocated multiple research tasks whilst I was here and sometimes I was requested to transform the research I had done into an informative write-up, such as my blog entry regarding First Voluntary Registration. Conducting research was useful to me as I gained some relevant legal knowledge. 

Administrative Duties                    Having an understanding of how an organisation functions was all part of the experience for me. Aside from the academic task I was assigned, it was important for me to attain a realistic feel of a working environment outside school walls and I know I was able to achieve that here. Some of the duties included: sending office notices to colleagues, assisting with the organising of events like ‘Prosecco on the Lawn’ and dealing with documents and letters. This enabled me to have a well-rounded experience of what it is to have a career in Law.

All in all, work experience at GoodyBurrettwas brilliant. Full of a range of responsibilities and new opportunities, this experience has given me a renewed enthusiasm to do the best I can going into my second year of college in order to study my chosen course, Law. I hope to remain in contact with all the friendly staff here. A sincere thank you to everyone that helped to settle me in and trusted me with responsibilities. Thank you!

Work experience is more than worthwhile. If in doubt of your interest, suitability or simply what a career entails then embarking on work experience in the relevant field is informative and chance to develop your vocational and interpersonal skills. Not to mention, having working experience may be what sets you apart from an equally-matched candidate who is applying for the same job as you. A 2017 survey revealed 93% of business leaders want compulsory work experience to be reinstated in schools. Now 2019, it is likely this figure has appreciated so why wait until (or if) this is enforced to find a work placement for yourself? GoodyBurrettis a wonderful, welcoming firm to do so.

Nicole Emeka-Ugwuadu

For more information on work experience at GoodyBurrett

Contact our Colchester Office on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]