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rule Wills, Estates & Trusts

Wills, Estates & Trusts

rule

The Laws of Intestacy

If someone dies and has not left a Will they are said to have died intestate. In these circumstances the estate must be distributed according to the laws of intestacy which set out a statutory set of rules which leave a person’s estate to their next of kin in a fixed order. 

Graysons Solicitors can help you with dealing with an estate under these circumstances. Contact us to arrange a consultation.

The chart below (provided by the Department for Work and Pensions) sets out the way an estate should be distributed of someone who has died intestate.

New statutory legacies came into effect on 1st February 2009. Below is a table showing the new legacies, together with a table showing the previous statutory legacies before this date.

INTESTACY DISTRIBUTION LIST FROM 1st FEBRUARY 2009

Deceased dies leaving Estate goes to:

A spouse/civil partner and children

1. Net estate not more than £250,000 – All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

2. Net estate over £250,000 – First £250,000 plus personal possessions to spouse/civil partner. Half of the rest is shared equally amongst the children. The spouse/civil partner also has the right to the interest only on the other half during his/her lifetime, then after the death of the spouse/ civil partner, to the children in equal shares.

A spouse/civil partner (but no children), and either parents, or brothers or sisters of the whole blood

1. Net estate not more than £450,000 – All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

2. Net estate over £450,000 – If he/she survives the deceased by 28 days, £450,000 plus personal possessions to spouse/civil partner, plus half of the rest. The other half to the deceased’s parents in equal shares; if no parents, then to brothers and sisters of the whole blood in equal shares.

A spouse/civil partner but no children, parents or brothers or sisters of the whole blood

All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

Children but no spouse/civil partner

Children in equal shares on reaching 18.

Neither spouse/civil partner nor children

Parents in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children or parents

Brothers and sisters of the whole blood in equal shares.
If there are no brothers or sisters of the whole blood, then to brothers and sisters of the half blood in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children, parents or brothers or sisters

Grandparents in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children, parents, brothers or sisters or
grandparents

Uncles and aunts of the whole blood in equal shares.
If there are no uncles or aunts of the whole blood, then to uncles or aunts of the half blood in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner
or blood relatives

All of the estate goes to the Crown.

Explanatory notes:

If anyone in any of these categories (child, brother or sister of the whole blood or half blood, uncle or aunt of the whole blood or half blood of the deceased), who would have been entitled to a share of the estate but died before the deceased, leaving a child or children of their own, then those children will take (in equal shares) the share of the estate that their mother or father would have taken, if their mother or father had survived the deceased.
The same principle cascades down through the generations – if a child of a person who would have been entitled to a share of the estate but died before the deceased also dies before the deceased, leaving a child or children, then those children will take (in equal shares) the share that their mother or father would have taken if that parent had survived the deceased.

Explanation of terms used:

A civil partner is someone who has entered into a registered civil partnership with another person. It does not include people simply living together as unmarried partners or as ‘common law husband and wife’.
The term ‘children’ includes adult sons and daughters.
Brothers and sisters of the whole blood have the same mother and father.
Brothers and sisters of the half blood have just one parent in common.
Step-brothers and step-sisters are not related by blood and are not entitled to share in the estate on intestacy.
Uncles and aunts of the whole blood are brothers and sisters of the whole blood of the deceased’s father or mother.
Uncles and aunts of the half blood are brothers and sisters of the half blood of the deceased’s father or mother.
Uncles or aunts who are related to the deceased only by marriage are not entitled to share in the estate on intestacy.

OLD INTESTACY DISTRIBUTION LIST PRIOR TO 1st FEBRUARY 2009

Deceased dies leaving Estate goes to:

A spouse/civil partner and children

1. Net estate not more than £125,000 – All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

2. Net estate over £125,000 – First £125,000 plus personal possessions to spouse/civil partner. Half of the rest is shared equally amongst the children. The spouse/civil partner also has the right to the interest only on the other half during his/her lifetime, then after the death of the spouse/ civil partner, to the children in equal shares.

A spouse/civil partner (but no children), and
either parents, or
brothers or sisters of the whole blood

1. Net estate not more than £200,000 – All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

2. Net estate over £200,000 – If he/she survives the deceased by 28 days, £200,000 plus personal possessions to spouse/civil partner, plus half of the rest. The other half to the deceased’s parents in equal shares; if no parents, then to brothers and sisters of the whole blood in equal shares.

A spouse/civil partner but no children, parents or
brothers or sisters of the whole blood

All to spouse/civil partner if he/she survives the deceased by 28 days.

Children but no
spouse/civil partner

Children in equal shares on reaching 18.

Neither spouse/civil
partner nor children

Parents in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children or parents

Brothers and sisters of the whole blood in equal shares.
If there are no brothers or sisters of the whole blood, then to brothers and sisters of the half blood in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children, parents or brothers or sisters

Grandparents in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner, children, parents, brothers or sisters or
grandparents

Uncles and aunts of the whole blood in equal shares.
If there are no uncles or aunts of the whole blood, then to uncles or aunts of the half blood in equal shares.

No spouse/civil partner
or blood relatives

All of the estate goes to the Crown.

Graysons with Watson Esam Solicitors Sheffield are able to offer Legal Aid (Public Funding) for certain areas of law