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The aftermath of not writing a Will

A person that dies without a Will is described as having died intestate. As a result of this, their Estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules.

Since the changes implemented in 2014, married couples or civil partners with no children, will now be entitled to inherit the whole Estate including all of the person’s property and belongings even if you have separated.

For unmarried couples, the rules of intestacy will not provide for any of the deceased’s Estate to be passed to the surviving partner.

If the person dying intestate leaves behind children, grandchildren or great grandchildren and their Estate is valued at more than £250,000.00, as the spouse, you will receive, all of the personal belongings of the person that has died, the first £250,000.00 and half of the remaining Estate. The remainder will be divided between the children. Grandchildren and great grandchildren will only inherit where the child’s parent has died before the intestate person.

If there is no surviving spouse at the time of death, the children will inherit the whole of the Estate.

In the event that the person dying intestate leaves behind no spouse or children the rules will distribute the Estate in strict order going down the chain of relatives. If there are no surviving blood relatives, the whole Estate will be passed to the Crown.

It is important that if you do not wish for these rules to be applied, you must ensure that you have a valid Will in place. For an informal chat about drafting your Will, please contact a member of the team at Beach Law.