Don’t have a Will? Intestacy Rules explained

By November 21, 2016Uncategorized

What happens if I do not make a Will?

It is so important to have a Will in place to ensure that your estate passes to the people that you want it to go to.

Some people wrongly assume that if they do not have a Will their estate will pass to the Crown, however this is not always the case. There are rules dictated by law, known as the Intestacy Rules, and these rules set out who should inherit your estate if you do not have a Will.

If you are married/in a Civil Partnership and have children:

If your estate is worth less than £250,000 then your spouse will inherit everything.

If your estate is worth more than £250,000 then your spouse will inherit all of your personal belongings, the first £250,000 of the estate and half of the remaining estate.  The other half of the remainder will pass to the children equally.

If there are no children then your spouse would inherit the entire estate.

If there is no spouse then the order for those in line to inherit is as follows:

  1. Children (if any have predeceased, then their children will take their share i.e. the deceased’s grandchildren)
  2. Parents
  3. Siblings (if any have predeceased, then their children will take their share)
  4. Half-siblings
  5. Grandparents
  6. Aunts and Uncles (if any have predeceased, then their children will take their share)
  7. The Crown

It is worth noting that if your estate is worth more than £250,000 and you are married with children, that your spouse will not inherit everything, which most people probably would not intend to happen and this is not always the best outcome from an Inheritance Tax planning point of view.

You will see that the Crown will only inherit if you have no surviving blood relatives.

People that cannot inherit under the Intestacy Rules include carers, friends, partners (unmarried/not in civil partnership) and relations via marriage such as a brother-in-law.

It is therefore imperative that you have a Will in place stating exactly what you want to happen to your assets on your death, as the Intestacy Rules can sometimes have unintended consequences.

Should you wish to discuss your own personal situation with us then please do not hesitate to get in touch.