If you die without a Will the Rules of Intestacy will apply which depend on your lifetime relationships:
If you die leaving a spouse and children, your spouse receives the first £270,000 of your estate and your personal possessions, and the remainder of your estate will be split equally between your spouse (50%) and your children (50%).
- If you die leaving a spouse but no children, your spouse will inherit your entire estate;
- If your die unmarried or as a widow or widower but leaving children, your children will inherit your estate in equal shares.
- If you die unmarried or as a widow or widower and childless, your estate will pass to your surviving parents, and failing that, it passes in the following order to
- your whole-blood siblings or to their children
- your half-blood siblings or to their children
- your Grandparents
- your whole-blood Aunts and Uncles or to their children
- your half-blood Aunts and Uncles or to their children
If none of the above are able to receive your estate, it passes in its entirety to The Crown.
You should consider if you want the Rules of Intestacy to apply to your estate. If not, you should get a Will in place which will give you control of the following:
- Who you wish to deal with your estate and act as executors.
- What you would like your funeral directions to be.
- Deciding whether to leave cash gifts or specific gifts of items to specific people.
- Deciding who should look after your children if they are below the age of 18 years; and
- Deciding who should benefit from your estate.
This article has been brought to you by Erica John-Marie, a Wills and Probate Solicitor in our Canary Wharf office. You can book an appointment with Erica or any of our Wills and Probate teams from other offices using the form provided.
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