The Rules of Intestacy Explained

It's easy to assume that our property and possessions will automatically go to loved ones when we die, however, this is sadly not always the case. 


When someone dies without a valid Will there are strict Inheritance laws, often referred to as the Rules of Intestacy, which apply in England and Wales. 


The Rules of Intestacy Explained


The Rules of Intestacy can be harsh as they often don't allow for modern family relationships.


The Rules of Intestacy make no provision for unmarried and unregistered partners. This means that on Intestacy, the surviving partner will not automatically inherit any of the property and possessions owned in the sole name of the deceased. However, a partner can often make a valid inheritance claim instead, or the family can legally vary the distribution on intestacy to provide for the partner. 

The Rules of Intestacy only recognise natural and adopted children for the purpose of inheritance; they do not acknowledge step children. However, in many cases step children can often have a valid claim. 

The only way to make it absolutely clear who should inherit your property and possessions after you pass away is by making a Will. 

The Rules of Intestacy Explained Further

When an adult person with assets, such as property, money and possessions dies without a valid Will they are said to have died Intestate. In these circumstances the Rules of Intestacy will apply and these rules determine who will administer, and who will benefit from, the deceased's Estate. 

When identifying Estate administrators and beneficiaries, great care and diligence is required to avoid any mistakes being made because an Estate Administrator can be held personally financially liable for any loss resulting from a breach of their duty, even if any mistakes made were genuine human errors. 

This is where our Probate expertise has been invaluable for thousands of our customers across England and Wales. We offer a sympathetic ear when bereaved people need it most.  

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