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Rules of Intestacy

A person who dies without making a Will or without making a valid Will, dies intestate.

The Law of Intestacy

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Rules of Intestacy

A person who dies without making a Will or without making a valid Will dies intestate. The property belonging to such a person is inherited according to a strict set of rules commonly known as the rules of intestacy. Instead of the property going to who might have been the testator's chosen beneficiaries, it is left to other relatives in a particular order.

If you die without a Will and have a surviving spouse or civil partner:

  • If you have surviving children, your spouse or civil partner gets the chattels (personal belongings, household goods, jewellery, antiques and paintings). They will also receive the first £250,000 of your estate plus half of the remainder of your estate. The other half of your residuary estate will be given to your children once they reach the age of 18.
  • If you have no children or grandchildren then your surviving spouse receives the whole of your estate. In this situation, your parents/siblings do not receive anything, unlike previous intestacy rules.