We have come across a few instances of clients dying without making a Will, so I have listed below a useful basic reminder of what happens should you die intestate (applies to England & Wales, there are different rules for Scotland)
If you die intestate leaving a surviving spouse or civil partner, then:
- Your spouse/civil partner will inherit the first £270,000 plus 50% of everything above that amount, together with your personal possessions.
- They will also inherit the balance of your estate if you have no children.
- If you have children then they will inherit the remaining 50%.
- If your estate is worth less than £270,000, than the whole estate passes to your spouse/civil partner, and any children will receive nothing.
- If you have no surviving spouse/civil partner, then your children will receive your estate equally.
- Grandchildren/great grandchildren will not inherit unless the child’s parent has died before you.
If you die intestate leaving no surviving spouse or civil partner, then:
- Children (if any) will inherit in equal shares; if they have died leaving children, then their children will inherit their share.
- If there are no children, then your surviving parents will inherit.
- If 1 & 2 fail, then your brothers/sisters will inherit, or, if they have died their children will inherit.
- Should 1 to 3 fail, then half-brothers/sisters will inherit, or if they have died, their children will inherit.
- Should 1 to 4 fail, grandparents would inherit.
- Should 1 to 5 fail, then aunts/uncles would inherit, or their children if they have died before you.
- Should 1 to 6 fail, then half aunts/uncles would inherit, or their children if they have died before you.
- If all the above fails, then your estate will pass to the crown.
If you feel this applies to your circumstances, then please contact your solicitor and get them to draw up a Will for you. We will be pleased to discuss any inheritance tax issues you may have beforehand.
Article written by Jonathan Salmon