We hear this comment a lot and it isn’t necessarily the case. If a person dies without a Will the Intestacy Rules dictate who will inherit the estate.
Assets over £250,000
Certainly if there is a surviving spouse or civil partner assets up to £250,000 will pass to that individual. However, if there is a surviving spouse/civil partner and children (or grandchildren) and the estate is worth more than £250,000 then the first £250,000 passes to the spouse/civil partner outright. In relation to the estate beyond that figure, the children (or grandchildren) will inherit half and the spouse/civil partner will inherit half. The whole of the estate does not pass to the spouse.
What does the law say
Without a Will in place, the law dictates who is entitled to deal with the estate and who will benefit. If, for example, the deceased person does not leave a surviving spouse, children or grandchildren (or great-grandchildren) and his or her parents have already died then his or her brothers and/or sisters will inherit. The line of entitlement can continue on to any surviving nephews and nieces, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.
In cases where there is no Will and no living relatives the Crown will inherit.
A Will is vital in order to determine who will deal with your estate after you have died and, perhaps more importantly, who will benefit. For more information please call 0114 218 4000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this form.