All of us have people in our lives that we love, trust and care for deeply. These people, our ‘loved ones’, often form the very basis of our very lives. At Bequest, we understand that the term loved ones cannot be simply defined by a bunch of legal parameters. Who you choose to love and trust is a matter of personal choice. 💛
Your friends, partners, step-children, etc., can be as close to you (or even closer) as blood relatives. However, they often don’t have the legal rights you might want them to have over your assets, property or personal belongings. How can you change this? With the help of your will! ✍️
Wills allow you to give your loved ones the executor, guardian and even beneficiary privileges to your assets. In the absence of a will, these privileges and assets are usually distributed among your next of kin according to the hierarchy suggested by U.K law. To understand how wills help you give your non-legal relationships legal privileges, let’s first understand what a "legal" relationship is. 💞
Legal relationships in the eyes of the law
Wait, does that mean there are relationships that the law officially recognises? 🤔 Yep.
The most common example of a legally recognised relationship is civil matrimony or marriage. When a couple agrees to become civil partners, they essentially decide to change a number of their civil rights. Any money or property owned by either partner is said to equally belong to both of them (this isn’t true in cases where there is a prenuptial agreement involved). A married couple can even open joint bank accounts or buy assets where the couple is treated as one single owner for all legal purposes.
Other relationships like parents, children or siblings (all strictly biological) also come with certain rights. These people are legally entitled to your possessions, assets, etc., after your death. They can also be appointed as your guardians if you are mentally or physically unable to make decisions regarding your health and well-being. This is a common occurrence in patients who have dementia.
What is a non-legal relationship?
A non-legal relationship is any social or personal relationship between two individuals that aren’t usually recognised by the law.
A non-legal relationship is any personal relationship in your life except for the above. 🤯
This means that anyone from your partner (outside of civil matrimony) to a co-worker is said to have a non-legal relationship with you. No matter how loved and trusted these people are, they will not be able to gain access to your assets without a will. This might lead to them being locked out of your social accounts, bank accounts and other belongings that you would want them to have access to. Even family members find it hard to access their deceased relative’s digital assets. With non-legal relationships, these chances become even slimmer.
How can wills help?
A will allows you to assign beneficiaries to all of your assets, despite the legal status of their relationship with you. This includes all your bank accounts, stocks, property, your share of the joint assets you own and even personal items. This is an excellent way of showing your loved ones you care!
Wills are important to you and them because they help you ensure that your loved ones never have to struggle to gain access to your belongings.
At Bequest, we provide easy and efficient will-writing services to help you do this. Death is hard. We help you make it easier for those you leave behind. Our legal experts fully understand the depth and importance of non-legal relationships. With your will, you can help them gain access to your will after death and even gain access to what’s needed before. 💯