What happens if someone does not have a Will?
 
If someone does not leave a Will, it is said that they die “intestate”. In this situation, the deceased’s estate (property and assets) will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. 
 
Unlike when someone leaves a Will and their assets are distributed according to their wishes, the rules of intestacy only allow certain people to inherit.
 
What are the rules of intestacy?
 
In England and Wales, the law states that when a person dies intestate, their assets should be distributed to certain people by order of priority. This includes married partners and civil partners, children, and in some cases grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Other relatives may be able to inherit if there are no surviving close family members. 

Who inherits if there is no Will in the UK?
 
The rules of intestacy apply where there is no Will and the following people can inherit:
 
 
 
Where the deceased is married with children and the estate is worth more than £270,000, the married partner would inherit all the assets up to the value of £270,000. The rest of the estate would be divided between the married or civil partner (who would have an absolute right over half), and the remainder will be split equally between the children.
 
 
 
 
What are the risks of not having a Will?
 
The risks of not having a Will in place are that your assets will be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which means that certain people will be able to inherit. For example, under the rules, if you are married, but you have informally broken up (not divorced), your estate will go to your married partner. 
 
Having a Will means that you can choose who you want to inherit your estate, and can also make it less complicated for your family to handle your estate following probate.
 
If you would like assistance with drafting your Will or would like advice on the rules of intestacy, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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