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If a person dies without making a valid will, their property is not distributed according to any wishes they may have expressed or wanted, instead it is distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. This is why making a will is so important so that you can determine who exactly gets a share of your property and how much of a share they get. See our blog post on how to create a valid will

Rules of Intestacy
  • Under the statutory rules, if an individual who dies has a spouse or civil partner, they will receive the first £250,000 of the individual’s estate.
  • The spouse or civil partner will also receive all personal chattels (household contents such as furniture and paintings.
  • If there is anything remaining of the individual’s estate, half of it again goes to the spouse or civil partner and the other half is shared amongst the individual’s children (if they have any).

If an individual dies with no spouse or children, the estate will be distributed in this order:

  • To the individual’s parents equally if both alive, if none
  • Full blood brothers and sisters equally, if none
  • Half brothers and sisters equally, if none
  • Grandparents equally, if none
  • Full blood uncles and aunts equally, if none
  • Half blood uncles and aunts equally, if none
  • The Crown (this is called ‘bona vacantia’)

As the intestacy rules show, depending on the relationship status and the living relatives of an individual, the estate can go to different family members or even to the crown. Creating a will allows you to select individuals who are not related to receive your property or alternatively, it allows you to which family members you want to receive your property.

You can avoid having your property being distributed under the intestacy rules by creating a valid will. You can have a will created for you by us through our wills page.