What happens if i don't have a will ?

What happens to my assets if I don't have a will ?

When a person dies without having left a valid will, he or she is said to have died "intestate". The law sets out the rules which apply in that situation. Reference to spouses by marriage also refers to Civil Partners in a formal Civil Partnership.

Married person with children

  • Spouse gets everything up to £250,000 & personal possessions.
  • Anything remaining is divided into two:
    • Half to the children at 18.
    • Half to the spouse

If a child predeceases, leaving children, his/her children will take his/her share between them.

Married person, no children

  • Spouse gets everything

Unmarried person with children

  • Estate goes to children at 18.
  • If a child predeceases, leaving children, his/her children take that share equally

Unmarried person with no children

  • Estate goes to parents
  • If none, then to siblings of the whole blood or their children
  • If none, then to siblings of the half blood or their children
  • If none, then to grandparents
  • If none, then to uncles and aunts of the whole blood or their children
  • If none, then to uncles and aunts of the half blood or their children
  • If there are no parents, siblings (whole or half blood), issue of siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts (whole or half blood), or issue of uncles or aunts, estate goes to the Crown (or to the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall)

What happens if we live together as “Man and Wife” and one of us dies ?

The law does not recognise “cohabitees” and so it is essential that you both have a Will otherwise on the death of one partner the survivor is unlikely to inherit anything.

Does marriage revoke a will ?

If a will is made subsequent marriage will make the current Will invalid, unless it has been written in expectation or contemplation of marriage. Marriage also refers to entering into a formal Civil Partnership.

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