If you do not leave a valid will your estate will pass in accordance with the intestacy rules

The Intestacy Rules set out who is entitled to inherit from your estate if you do not leave a valid will. If you do not leave a Will your money and possessions will be distributed according to the Intestacy Rules laid down in the Administration of Estates Act 1925. If you have no relatives the Crown is entitled to take everything.

If you are married, or in a civil partnership, the first person entitled to your estate under the Intestate Rules is your spouse/civil partner, but he or she will not necessarily inherit the whole of your estate (the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5th December 2005 and gave same-sex couples the right to register their partnerships, giving them broadly the same legal rights as married couples).

The amount your spouse/civil partner would inherit depends on how much is in your estate and which of your blood relatives survive you. Assets held in joint names pass automatically to the other joint owner(s) and do not form part of your estate (if you are unsure about the type of joint ownership you share with another, you should consider seeking legal advice).

It is possible for beneficiary(s) of an Intestate Estate to enter into a Deed of Variation.

Please enter your contact details to download our flowchart to help clarify the rules

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