Q: I think I need to make a will but I don’t know where to start. I have an 18 year old son from a previous relationship who no longer lives with me. I own my house and live in it with my current partner and our 15 year old daughter. The house is in my name but my partner and I both pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the house and share the cost of the bills. If I die will the house transfer to my partner? How can I make sure that my son and daughter are both treated equally? Would things be different if my partner and I get married?
A: If you passed away without making a Will, your estate would be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy. Under the rules of intestacy married partners or civil partners inherit if they are married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. As you are unmarried, your property would not pass to your partner. Your assets would be divided equally between your two children.
If you were married and you did not leave a Will, your estate worth up to £250,000 including the value of the property held in your sole name, would pass to your wife and the rest would be divided into two parts, with your wife receiving one part and the other part being divided between your children.
From what you say it seems likely that you are not planning for either of the above scenarios to take place. If this is the case then it would be advisable for you to instruct a solicitor to draft a Will for you to ensure that all your loved ones are provided for.