If you die without having a valid Will, it is said that you have died ‘intestate’.
If a person dies intestate, there is no one who is automatically entitled to administer the estate of the deceased – i.e. an executor has not been appointed. We can help you to identify who can apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration and submit the application on their behalf.
In addition to this, when a person dies intestate their estate must be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. The Intestacy Rules are governed by law and dictate who is entitled to receive the deceased’s estate. We can assist you in recognising who is entitled to inherit and help distribute the estate to the right people as the distribution of the estate is dependent on who survives the deceased. For example, if the deceased had an estate of £500,000 and was survived by a spouse/civil partner and two children, the spouse/civil partner can receive the first £250,000 of the estate. The spouse/civil partner then receives half of the remaining estate and the other half is inherited equally between the children.
Although the distribution of the estate is dependent on who survives the deceased, the Intestacy Rules are inflexible, for example: there are two people who are in a relationship and live together, but they are not married or civil partners. If one of them dies, under the Intestacy Rules, the surviving partner is not regarded as a beneficiary of that estate. The only way they may inherit is if they challenge the estate or rely on the beneficiaries to vary their inheritance.