What Happens If There Is No Will – Intestacy

Welcome to our page explaining Intestacy.  Intestacy is a situation where somebody dies without making a will.  We are a firm who specialise in dealing with probate and estate administration work.  At Seatons, we offer a helpful and friendly service with low fees that provide exceptional value for money.  Please call us today for a free no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.

Intestacy Laws

Intestacy is the situation where a person has died without making a valid will. The laws of intestacy state who should be responsible for the probate process and what happens to the estate if a person dies without making a valid will and intestacy law applies.  The laws of intestacy are covered by section 46(1) of the Administration of Estates Act 1925.

If You're Married With Children

If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership and had children and has died without having made a will then under intestacy law, their spouse may not inherit all the estate. The deceased’s spouse or civil partner would be entitled to the following:-

  1. Up to £250,000 of the deceased’s estate assets (plus interest base rate)
  2. Personal possessions of the deceased (tangible, moveable property)
  3. The right to acquire the home for full value
  4. 50% of the residue of the estate.

After this distribution, the 50% remainder of the estate is distributed equally amongst the deceased’s children.

If Married Without Children

If the deceased was married with no children and died without making a will then under the laws of intestacy the deceased’s spouse would be entitled to the whole of the estate.

If Not Married With Children

If the deceased was unmarried at the time of death but had children and died without making a will then under the law of intestacy, the deceased’s children would receive the estate in equal shares, however they would be held on trust and would not be accessible under the children reached the age of 18.

If Not Married Without Children

If the deceased was unmarried at the time of death with no children and died without making a will then under the law of intestacy, the deceased estate would pass to their parents in equal shares.

If Not Married With No Children and No Parents

If the deceased was unmarried with no children and no parents and had died without making a will then under the law of intestacy, the deceased’s brothers and sisters of the whole blood would inherit the estate in equal shares. If there were no brothers or sisters of the whole blood then the deceased’s brothers and sisters of the half-blood would inherit in equal shares.

If Not Married With No Children, No Parents and No Brothers or Sisters

If the deceased was unmarried with no children, no parents, no brothers or sisters and the deceased died without making a will then under the law of intestacy, the deceased’s grandparents would inherit in equal shares.

If Not Married With No Children, No Parents, No Brothers or Sisters and No Grandparents

If the deceased was unmarried with no children, no parents, no brothers or sisters and no grandparents then under the law of intestacy the deceased’s estate would pass to their uncles and aunties of the whole blood. If there were none of them then to their uncles and aunties of the half blood.

No Blood Relatives

If the deceased was unmarried, with no blood relatives then under the law of intestacy, their estate would pass to the Crown.

Unmarried Couples

Under the law of intestacy, unmarried couples do not automatically inherit anything. However, following the intestacy law, married couples are recognised as having significant rights over property upon death. Therefore, if a person is unmarried and dies without having made a will, then their partner will not automatically get anything! They might in certain circumstances be able to make an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Separated Couples

Under the law of intestacy, if a person is separated but not divorced and dies without making a will, their spouse may be entitled to claim part or all of the deceased’s estate in certain circumstances.

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