If the Deceased died without a will, the legal document issued by the Probate Registry is called a Grant of letters of Administration, and will be issued to the next of kin of Deceased, under are what are known as the Intestacy Rules. These rules then determine who inherits the estate, and who may inherit the estate. An overview is set out below :-

What happens when there is no will in the UK?

Married Partners and Civil Partners

Married or civil partners only inherit if they are married, or in a civil partnernship at the date of death. If divorced you cannot inherit. The rules vary depending upon whether there are any children, if there are surviving children, the partner inherits :-

  • • all the personal assets
  • • the first £250,000
  • • a life interest in half of the remaining estate

If the if estate is worth more than £450,000, and there are no surviving children, grandchildren, or greatgrandchildren, but there are surviving parents, the partner will inherit :-

  • • all the personal assets
  • • the first £450,000
  • • half of the remaining estate

Children - when there is no surviving married or civil Partner

If there is no surviving partner, then any surviving children will inherit in equal share or their issue

Children - if there is a surviving partner

Surviving spouse gets personal effects, and £250,000 and a life interest in half of the residue. Children or their issue get other half of the residue in which spouse has life interest upon the death of the spouse.

Other relatives : Brothers, Sisters, Nieces and Nephews

Parents, Brothers, Sisters and Nieces and Other close relatives may inherit whne there is no will. This will depend on a number of circumstances:-

  • • whether there is a surviving parent
  • • whether there are children, grandchildren or great grandchildren
  • • in the case of nephews and nieces, whether the parent directly related to the person who has died is also dead
  • • the value of the estate?

Other relatives may a right to inherit if the person who died intestate - The order of priority amongst other relatives is as follows:-

  • • grandparents
  • • uncles and aunts. A cousin can inherit instead if the uncle or aunt who would have inherited died before the intestate person
  • • half-uncles and half-aunts. A half-cousin can inherit instead if the half-uncle or half-aunt who would have inherited died before the intestate person

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