If you die without making a valid Will you will be Intestate. Some people think that their wishes will be applied even though they have no Will, but the rules are complex and rarely lead to that outcome. Our advice is always to make a Will to avoid cost, complications and distress to your next of kin after your death. If you die Intestate:-
- Your property will be inherited according to the Intestacy Rules
- Instead of going to your chosen beneficiaries, it will go to other next of kin in a particular order
If you die without making a Will, leaving a surviving spouse or civil partner but no children, parent, brother, sister, or children of a deceased sibling:-
- The whole estate passes to your spouse
- If your spouse dies within 28 days of you, your estate is distributed as if your spouse had not survived you
If you die without making a Will leaving both a spouse/civil partner and children, your estate is distributed as follows:
- Your spouse/civil partner receives all your house contents and personal effects (including your car) absolutely - but this does not include cash or belongings used for business purposes
- Your spouse/civil partner also receives up to £250,000 from the remainder of your estate
- If the remainder of your estate - apart from your personal assets - is worth less than £250,000, your spouse/civil partner receives the whole amount
- If there is more than £250,000, the first £250,000 will go to your spouse/civil partner and the rest of the estate is divided into two equal funds
- One fund is held on trust to pay income to your spouse/civil partner for their life and then passes to your children
- The other fund is held on trust for your children
If you die intestate leaving a spouse/civil partner, no children but parent, brother, sister or children of a deceased sibling, then the rules set out above apply but the £250,000 figure is increased to £450,000 and one half of the rest of the estate above that figure goes to your spouse/civil partner absolutely.
If you die without a Will (intestate) with no surviving spouse or civil partner, your estate will pass to your children.
If you have no children (on Trust) then your estate will pass to:-
- Your parents, equally if both alive, but if none to...
- Your brothers and sisters (in Trust) but if none to...
- Your half brothers and sisters (in Trust), but if none to...
- Your grandparents, equally if more than one, but if none to...
- Your uncles and aunts (in Trust), but if none to...
- Your half uncles and aunts (in Trust), but if none to...
- The Crown
Please call us to discuss how we can help you ensure that you will not die intestate!