If you have not written a will when you die, you are considered to have died ‘intestate’.
This chart shows what happens to your estate if you die intestate in England or Wales.
Key questions asked if you die intestate
Are you married or in a civil partnership?
You need to be either married or in a legal civil partnership for your other half to automatically inherit your estate.
Do you have any children?
If you are married or in a civil partnership, your children will receive half of your estate between them.
If you are NOT married or in a civil partnership, your children share your entire estate between them.
What about the rest of your family?
Should you have no children, or no legal spouse / civil partner, your parents share your estate. If your parents are no longer alive, your estate is shared equally between any brothers and sisters you have.
If you have no siblings, then the estate reverts to your grandparents. And if you have no grandparents, to any aunts and uncles, equally.
And if no family are entitled to inherit?
If you have no legal spouse / civil partner, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles, or cousins … the crown collects everything.
How do I stop this happening?
Simple. If you want to have control over your estate and what happens after you have died, you need to contact your solicitor to make your Will.
Your life could end at any time, and it takes very little time to write a Will that protects those you care about when the worst happens.
Contact Cunningtons solicitors about making your Will – none of us want to think about it, but you’ll feel better once it’s done.