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Intestacy rules

What is intestacy?

If you die and have not left a will you are said to have died intestate. When this happens, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy – a statutory set of rules which leave a person’s estate to their next of kin in a fixed order. Under the rules of intestacy, only certain people can inherit your estate, and that may not be the people you would want to inherit, which is one of the reasons that making a will is so important. It’s also important to note that if you do make a will, but it’s found to be invalid, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. If you die intestate, your estate will be distributed as follows:

Married couples and civil partners


Grandchildren and great grandchildren

Other relatives

If any of the people mentioned above died before the intestate deceased did, leaving children of their own, these children would inherit, in equal shares, the amount their parent would have inherited.

The same principle cascades down through the generations.  If the child of a person who would have inherited but had died before the deceased, also dies before the deceased, and they leave children, those children will inherit, in equal shares, the amount that their parent would have received had they survived the intestate deceased.

The people mentioned in this section are the only ones who can inherit your estate if you die intestate.  Unmarried partners, or partners not in a civil partnership, friends, carers, non-blood relatives and relations by marriage will not inherit your estate if you have not made a will – even if you wanted them to.

Contact our wills and probate experts now to make your will and ensure that your estate goes exactly where you want it to go when you die.

You can find out more about the rules of intestacy on the Government’s web site at here

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