Who inherits if i do not have a Will?

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A Will is a legal declaration of your wishes on death and is only valid if it complies with certain requirements set by law. A Will is the only way you can help ensure your wishes are carried out after your death.

Over 60% of adults in England and Wales are currently living without a Will. Two-thirds of adults in England and Wales pass away each year without having made a valid Will. Some people simply don’t get around to making one, others don’t realise that significant events in life, for example, marriage, can revoke a previously made Will.

Most people are not familiar with what happens upon death when there is no active Will. If you are a resident of England and Wales and die without having made a legally valid Will or a Will that has partially failed in some way, your estate becomes subject to the Governments Rules of Intestacy. The Rules of Intestacy determine how your estate is to be distributed after the payment of all your debts and liabilities, testamentary expenses and funeral costs.

This diagram shows how your estate would be distributed in this instance.

Law of Intestacy Flowchart - The Law PracticePlease note:

  • The issue (any child/children) of a pre-deceased member of a class (relation group) will inherit that share.
  • Step relations have no entitlement unless legally adopted by the deceased.
  • These rules are effective for deaths on or after 1 October 2014
  • Property held as joint tenants passes to the other joint tenant, irrespective of the Rules of Intestacy.
  • The Rules of Intestacy do not recognise ‘unmarried partners’ and therefore no provision is made for them.

The death of a family member can be a stressful and upsetting time so it’s important that you have a law firm in your corner who can look after both your estate and the interests of your family. Our experts at The Law Practice (UK) Ltd will ensure that both are handled in a professional, caring and cost­ effective manner. We offer a flexible pricing plan, and fixed fee options for Will writing and are happy to provide quotes for the handling and administration of an estate in the event of a death.

For further information about the importance of writing a Will, visit our dedicated Wills and Probate page

To speak to one of our experts in our Wills and Probate team, contact us here

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