Rules of Intestacy

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    The Rules of Intestacy – Feb 2009 onwards

    Intestacy means a person has died without having left a valid will.

    These rules apply in that situation.

    This is a simplified version only. There may be exceptions to the general rule which are not set out. You should also take appropriate professional advice.

    For the sake of the wording below, the term “Married” also refers to a Civil Partnershi and “Spouse” also refers to the Civil Partner.

    Married person with children

    Spouse gets everything up to *£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 (children), their issue will take their share between them.

    Married person, no children

    If there are parents, brothers or sisters of the whole blood, nephew or nieces:-
    Spouse gets everything up to *£450,000 & personal possessions.
    Anything remaining is divided into two:-
    Half of this goes to 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, their issue (chirldren) take their share between them.

    Unmarried person with no children

    Estate goes to parents.
    If none, then to siblings (brothers/sisters) of the whole blood or their issue.
    If none, then to siblings (brothers/sisters) 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 brothers/sisters), 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).

    *NB. These figures sometimes change with Legislation. The figures shown apply for deaths on or after 1st February 2009.

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