Intestacy Rules

What is Intestacy?

There are 2 types of intestacy that can arise, total intestacy or partial intestacy. Total intestacy arises where there is no valid Will. Partial intestacy arises where the Will fails to deal with everything, either because there is no gift of what is left after the main bequests or because any gift has failed in part or whole.

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Intestacy

What are the Intestacy Rules?

The intestacy rules are as follows:

  • Your spouse/civil partner only inherits if they survive you by 28 days
  • Where there are no children, parents, brothers or sisters of the whole blood or nieces or nephews of the whole blood then the spouse/civil partner inherits it all
  • Where there are children, the spouse/civil partner inherits the personal chattels, a statutory legacy of £125,000 and a life interest in one half of what is left after that. The children inherit the other half. They also have a remainder interest in the half the spouse/civil partner inherited, meaning when that person dies, the children inherit this also
  • Where there are no children, but there are parents, brothers or sisters of the whole blood or nieces or nephews of the whole blood, then the spouse/civil partner inherits the personal chattels, a statutory legacy of £200,000 and one half of what is left after that. The other half is inherited by the parents or, where none survive, to the brothers and sisters of the whole blood or their children
  • Where there is no spouse/civil partner, the children inherit everything as long as they reach the age of 18. If a child dies before their parent, but leaves children of their own their children receive their inheritance
  • Where there is no spouse/civil partner and no children then everything is inherited by the first class of people in the following list:
    1. Parents
    2. Brothers and sisters of the whole blood (or their children if they died first)
    3. Brothers and sister of the half blood (or their children if they died first)
    4. Grandparents
    5. Uncles and aunts of the whole blood
    6. Uncles and aunts of the half blood
  • Should a person die intestate without leaving any relatives in the above categories then the estate is taken by the Crown.
  • What should you do next?

    If you’re unable to find a Will and need some advice on your next steps, then call us for a no-obligation chat and we can help you work out where you go from here.