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Intestacy

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 Finding out about a Will can be daunting. Here are some quick links to help you. 

The rules of intestacy for England and Wales specify that an estate must pass on to the surviving spouse or civil partner, children or other descendants, parents, half-blood descendants or other descendants in its entirety.

If you do not make a Will, this will directly impact your surviving family. Conversely, making a Will ensures that your loved ones will benefit from your Estate upon your death, and provide you with invaluable peace of mind. 

Making a Will enables you to plan what will happen to your property (estate) following your demise. A Will ensures that people that you would actually like to benefit from it actually doing so, and at the same time avoiding any possible disputes between relatives. Most notably is the peace of mind making a Will provides.

Without a Will

     You cannot be sure those you would wish to benefit will do so.

     Your spouse/civil partner will not automatically inherit ALL of your Estate.

     'Common Law' partners may not receive anything.

     Minor-aged children may be required to go into care whilst Guardians are appointed.

     There may be lengthy delays and disputes to be resolved before your Estate is settled.

     The control over who does and does not benefit from your Estate is lost. 

     You will not be able to bequeath to friends, colleagues or charities, which fall outside of the Rules of Intestacy.

If you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to legalities, which may result in the people who you care about losing out.

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Intestacy - Frequently Asked Questions

If there is no Will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the Probate Registry to deal with the Estate. In this case, they apply for a 'Grant of Letters of Administration'. If the Grant is given, they are known as 'Administrators' of the Estate. Like the Grant of Probate, the Grant of Letters of Administration is a legal document, which confirms the Administrator's authority to deal with the deceased person's assets.

If you die without leaving a Will, nobody is automatically entitled to handle your Estate. Instead, for somebody to assume this responsibility, they will need to apply for a "Grant of Letters of Administration" to be legally named as the Estate Administrator. 

The order of priority of intestacy is:

  • Surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Offspring
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • More distant relatives

Only married or civil partners and certain other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.

If you have surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, and the estate is valued at more than £270,000, the partner will inherit:

  • all of the deceased's personal property and belongings and
  • the first £270,000 of the estate and
  • half of the remaining estate.

If you have no surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, the partner will inherit:

  • all the personal property and belongings and
  • the whole of the estate, with interest from the date of death.

When a person dies intestate, there is no set time for their Estate to be dealt with. Each case is unique. But the reality is that without a Will in place, assets will take considerably longer to distribute. 

If you have young children, a valid Will is essential, removing the threat of your children being taken into care

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Intestacy is the situation that arises when a person dies without leaving a Will. 

If you are considering making a Will and are seeking guidance, please call us on 020 3355 2875

Who becomes Executor if there is no Will?

Who inherits money if no will?

How long does it take to resolve intestacy?

The next of kin refers to your nearest blood relative. In the case of a married couple or a civil partnership, it typically means the husband or wife. The children are the next of kin, following the death of the remaining parent. 

Who is the next of kin?

If there is no surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings, then nieces and nephews may be in line to inherit from an Estate along with grandchildren, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Can nieces and nephews inherit?

If you wish for your next of kin to have the power to make decisions for you and manage your financial affairs during your lifetime, you need to appoint them as your Attorney(s) under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs).  

The LPA means that the individual of your choosing will be appointed to make decisions on your behalf. There are two main types of LPA's, and they are:

  • Property and Financial Affairs
  • Health and Welfare. 

How to give legal right to next of kin

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What intestacy rules mean 

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What intestacy rules mean?

Who becomes Executor if there is no will?

Who inherits money if no will?

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