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When someone dies but has not made a will, what happens to their esate?

Posted on 04th March 2020 in Probate & Wills

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Senior Associate and Chartered Legal Executive
When someone dies but has not made a will, what happens to their esate?

Where someone dies but has not made a will the intestacy rules govern the distribution of their estate. Under the rules if you leave a spouse/civil partner and children then the first part of your estate passes to the spouse/civil partner. This is called the statutory legacy and this amount has been raised from £250,000 to £270,000 with effect to estates where the deceased died on or after 6th February 2020. After this date, if an estate is worth £270,000 or less, the whole estate will pass to the surviving spouse/civil partner. If the estate exceeds £270,000 the balance is split between the surviving spouse/civil partner and the children.

This increase may appear to be good news but it also confirms how important it is to make a will. Making a Will ensures that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes and not according to the intestacy rules which may pass your estate to a member of your family who you do not wish to benefit. If you are unmarried or have not entered into a civil partnership and would like your partner to inherit it is even more important to make a will. No provision for a partner who is not your spouse or civil partner under the intestacy rules.

If you would like one of our experts to advise you on the making of a will please contact a member of our Probate and Wills team.

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