Rules Of Intestacy

When a person dies without leaving a valid Will they are classed as having died “Intestate”. This means that the Probate Court will determine how the person’s assets are shared out according to the Rules of Intestacy.

The Rules of Intestacy beneficiaries of the Estate are:

  • Spouse or civil partner;
  • Children (or their remote issue i.e. grandchildren/great-grandchildren);
  • Parents;
  • Brothers and sisters (or half-siblings);
  • Grandparents;
  • Uncles and aunts. A cousin can inherit instead of the uncle or aunt who would have inherited, died before the intestate person;
  • Half-uncles and half-aunts. A half-cousin can inherit instead of a half-uncle or half‑aunt who would have inherited, died before the intestate person.

This order of importance will also determine who acts as the Administrator of the Estate.

If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the person who died and the Estate is valued at more than £250,000 any surviving spouse/civil partner shall inherit:

  • All the personal property and belongings of the person who has died;
  • The first £250,000 of the Estate, and;
  • Half the remaining Estate.

If there are no surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, the spouse/civil partner will inherit:

  • All the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and;
  • The whole of the Estate with interest from the date of death.

If there are no surviving relatives then the Estate will go to the Crown.  This situation is known as “bona vacantia”.

The following people are not included as beneficiaries in the Rules of Intestacy:

  • Cohabitees or unmarried partners;
  • Ex-spouses or civil partners;
  • Step-parents or step-children;
  • Close friends;
  • Carers.

Talk to Tollers

If you are mentioned in the list above, Talk to Tollers, you may have a claim under the inheritance act. Our expert team have a wealth of experience in all areas of Intestacy and Inheritance Act Claims.

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Our Rules Of Intestacy Experts

Annabel Harding
Trainee Solicitor
Annabel graduated from the University of Sheffield in June 2019 with a LLB Law with Honours degree and joined Tollers in November 2019. She is the first trainee solicitor at Tollers to undertake the Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme, and alongside her training with the Firm, Annabel is also studying towards the Solicitors Qualifying Exams.
Kerry Green
Kerry joined Tollers in April 2023 as a Paralegal working in the Corby Contentious Trust and Probate Department.
Tiffany Benson
Tiffany is a Partner and Head of Contentious Trusts and Probate at the Firm...
Annabel Harding
Trainee Solicitor
Kerry Green
Tiffany Benson
Meet the Full Contesting A Will Team

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