If you die without a Will, the State decides who gets what
If you don’t have a Will, your Estate (property, money, belongings) will be shared out according to the ‘rules of intestacy’.
In the UK, the first cut goes to your partner then the rest would be divided up between partner and children or grandchildren. If you have no children but have parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, your partner gets the first call and then half of the rest these folks might inherit.
Having no Will leads to the nightmare potential that an ex could inherit over your current partner, your family don’t acknowledge a new partner, the ‘wrong people’ benefit.
Without a Will, a partner or anyone else would might make a claim on your estate and it can take months – even years – to sort out.
If the courts can’t find a home for it, it goes to the State – aargh! In England and Wales in 2011/12, the State gained almost £40m from our lack of planning; a rise of 91 per cent on the year before. (Isn’t it odd that in tough economic times we’re not more careful?)
Rules of intestacy
If you have no Will or your Will isn’t valid – eg not signed properly – the rules of intestacy also apply.
Check HMRC for current rules to show how the Estate would be split up.
There are good illustrations of how the rules of intestacy work on the Citizens Advice site.
Get professional help