What happens if i die without a will?

  • June 26, 2018

Have you considered what will happen to your property and personal belongings when you die?

A Will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and belongings after your death.

If you do not make a Will then your estate will pass in accordance with statutory rules called the rules of intestacy. Who will inherit will depend on who you are survived by and the size of your estate.

Those persons who could inherit under the rules of intestacy include:

  • Spouses or civil partners;
  • Children and grandchildren;
  • Parents;
  • Brothers and sisters; and
  • Nieces and nephews.

Unmarried partners and those not in a civil partnership will not inherit under the rules of intestacy.

If a person dies leaving no surviving relatives then their estate will pass to the Crown!

By writing a Will, not only can you specify who should inherit your estate but you also have the opportunity to appoint an Executor, minimise inheritance tax, direct who should look after your children/dependents and include wishes for your funeral.

You do not have to instruct a solicitor to prepare a Will for you, however certain formalities must be adhered to in order to ensure that the Will is valid. Once a person has died, it can be too late to try and rectify a mistake made when the Will was drafted or executed.

Here at Versus Law, we can also advise you in connection with more complex aspects of your estate including if:

  • You have children from a previous marriage or relationship;
  • You own property jointly with someone who is not your spouse or civil partner;
  • You want to provide for a family member of friend who cannot care for themselves;
  • You have a business; and/or
  • Inheritance tax will be payable on your death.

A Will should be kept under constant review and it is recommended that you review your Will every 5 years or following a life-changing event such as:

  • Divorce/separation
  • Marriage (this revokes any previous Will made before the date of the marriage);
  • Having children etc.

Read more about our will services.