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Rules of intestacy: What you need to know

If someone you know has died without a Will, you may be wondering what happens next and what the rules of intestacy may mean for you.

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at intestacy law and discussing what happens when someone dies without having legally validated their wishes through a Will.

What are the rules of intestacy?

The rules of intestacy govern how a person’s estate is distributed if someone has died without leaving a valid Will.

Married or civil partners

Married or civil partners can inherit only if this is the case at the time of death, if you were divorced or your civil partnership had ended, you will be unable to inherit.

If you had separated informally, you may still be able to inherit.

Cohabiting partners

Cohabiting partners cannot inherit via these rules if you were not legally married or in a civil partnership.

If you were joint tenants, the surviving partner will inherit your share of the property.

If you were tenants in common, your surviving partner will not automatically inherit your share of the property.

Other close relatives

Children of the deceased person will inherit if there is no surviving partner.

If there is a surviving partner, a child will only inherit if the estate is valued at more than £270,000.

A grandchild or great-grandchild will not inherit unless their parent or grandparent has died before the intestate person.

Children will not receive their share of the inheritance until they are 18, if there are multiple children, the estate will be shared out equally between them.

If there is no surviving partner, children or grandchildren, the estate will be distributed to the nearest living relatives in line with the intestacy rules.

Making a claim under the Inheritance Act

You may make a claim under the Inheritance Act if you have not been provided for under the intestacy rules which can include allowance for reasonable financial provisions for cohabiting partners.

If you believe this applies to you, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor.

If you need advice on the rules of intestacy, contact us today.

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