What Happens When someone dies without a will ?

Over 60% of people die in the UK without a will, and so handling the estate for a deceased person without a will is fairly common, however great care should always be sought in handling the estate when no will exists, due to the following reasons :-

  • It is important to know the law clearly
  • Appreciating who has the authority to apply for probate
  • Understanding how the estate should be distributed

Whilst the above factors seem very straightforward, we regularly encounter circumstances whereby estates are not correctly administered.

The Intestacy Rules

When there is no will, the law states that person has died Intestate. As a result of this, you may see this phrase regularly.

A few other important points. There is no Executor under the Intestacy Rules, instead there are Administrators, whilst the legal document issued by the probate registry to the Administrators is known as the Grant of Letters of Administration as opposed to the Grant of probate when there is no will.

The intestacy rules are found in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 these rules set out the Order of entitlement as to what happens when there is no will, and who inherits the deceased persons estate. You can read a more simplified version by clicking here

Who inherits when there is no will ?

Understandably, the Intestacy Rules are not straightforward but the key points to note are as follows :-

  • if the Estate is below £250,000 in value and you are married your Spouse or Civil Partner Inherits everything
  • if the Estate is over £250,000 and you are married with Children, the rules are more complicated with the spouse getting the personal effects together with interest on that sum from the date of death and half the remainder absolutely, children or their issue get the other half the remainder.
  • if your parents are both died, and you have siblings, the estate is divided equally between the surviving siblings or their issue
  • there is no entitlement for unmarried partners

Other relatives the rules become more complicated in the case of uncles, aunts, grandparents, and you can seek our helpline by calling our probate helpline on 0845 269 3571