What happens if a person dies without making a Will?

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If you die without leaving a Will, your estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules. The intestacy rules determine who will inherit your estate. This could mean that the person you wish to inherit your estate is not the person who will inherit your estate.

Who will inherit my estate if I am married or in a civil partnership?

If you are married or in a civil partnership and you do not have children, your entire estate will pass to your surviving spouse/partner.

However, the rules differ if you are married or in a civil partnership and you have children. In accordance with the intestacy rules, your spouse/partner will receive all your personal possessions, a statutory legacy of £270,000 free of tax and costs and half of the remainder of your estate. The other half of the remainder of your estate will be divided equally among your children. If any of your children dies before you and they themselves are parents, their children will inherit the share their parent would have otherwise inherited.

Who will inherit my estate if I am not married or in a civil partnership?

If you are not married or in a civil partnership and have children, your entire estate will be divided equally among your children. Again, if any of your children dies before you and they themselves are parents, their children will inherit their parents share.

The intestacy rules differ if you are not married or in a civil partnership and do not have children. The order of entitlement to your estate would depend on what relatives survive you. The order of entitlement to your estate is set out below:

  • Parents
  • Brother and sister of the whole blood and then their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  • Brother and sister of the half blood and then their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and aunts of the whole blood and then their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  • Uncles and aunts of the half blood and then their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren
  • The Crown

It is especially important to have a Will in place to ensure that your estate is passed to your chosen beneficiary and to avoid family disputes.

If you wish to make a Will, please contact us on 01279 295047 and we will be very happy to help you.

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