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Intestacy Law

If you are a resident of England and Wales and die without having made a legally valid Will or a Will that has partially failed in some way, your estate becomes subject to the Rules of Intestacy. The Rules of Intestacy determine how your estate is to be distributed after the payment of all your debts and liabilities, testamentary expenses and funeral costs. The diagram illustrates how your estate would be distributed, unfortunately the Rule of Intestacy does not recognise "unmarried partners" and therefore no provision is made for them.

If you decease without a Will in place, your Estate is distributed under the rules of intestacy. Your Estate will also be treated as if you had no will if the will is invalid. The order is strict of who would inherit your estate; only direct family inherit under intestacy. Unfortunately, unmarried partners or friends are not taken into consideration. Situations where there are multiple marriages and divorces are often more complicated although this complexity can be avoided by ensuring you have a valid Will. Financial dependents who do not inherit under Intestacy can potentially make a claim under the Inheritance Act.

The flowchart below summaries the sequence of Intestacy Law (available in desktop view only).