Intestacy

What is intestacy

Intestacy is when a person dies without having left a valid Will.  The deceased is said to have died “intestate”. The law sets out the rules which apply in that situation as follows:

Married person with children

  • Spouse gets the first  £250,000 & personal possessions.
  • Anything remaining is divided into two:-
    • Half to the children at 18 or earlier marriage.
    • Half in trust during spouse’s lifetime – he or she gets the income. On spouse’s death this half goes to the children.

If a child predeceases, leaving issue, his issue will take his share between them.

Married person, no children

  • If there are parents, brothers or sisters of the whole blood, nephew or nieces:-
    • Spouse (even if you are separated) gets the first £450,000 & personal possessions.
  • Anything remaining is divided into two:-
    • Half of this goes to the  spouse
    • Half to parents. If no parent is living then it goes to brothers or sisters or their children.

Married person, no parents, brothers or sisters of the whole blood, nephew or nieces

  • Spouse takes whole estate.

Unmarried person with children

  • Estate goes to children at 18 or earlier marriage.
  • If a child predeceases, leaving issue, his issue take per stirpes.

Unmarried person with no children

  • Estate goes to parents.
  • If none, then to siblings of the whole blood or their issue.
  • If none, then to siblings of the half blood or their issue.
  • If none, then to grandparents.
  • If none, then to uncles and aunts of the whole blood or their issue.
  • If none, then to uncles and aunts of the half blood or their issue.
  • If there are no parents, siblings (whole or half blood), issue of siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts (whole or half blood), or issue of uncles or aunts, estate goes to the Crown (or to the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall).

Letters of Administration

A Grant of Letters of Administration is the document that is required to administer an Estate of a person where there is no Will.

A hierarchy is followed as to who is entitled to take out the Grant as follows:

  • the deceased’s spouse of civil partner
  • the children of the deceased and the issue of any child who died in the deceased’s lifetime
  • the parents of the deceased
  • brothers and sisters of the whole blood and the issue of any who died before the deceased
  • brothers and sisters of the half blood and the issue of any who died before the deceased
  • grandparents
  • uncles and aunts of the whole blood and the issue of any who died before the deceased

uncles and aunts of the deceased of the half blood and the issue of any who died before the deceased