If a person does not leave a will, or the will is declared invalid, the person will have died intestate, and assets will be distributed by the state according to the laws of Descent and Distribution of the state in which the person resided (known as intestacy rules)
The rules of intestacy
The below are a few of the unintended effects of dying intestate. To see our table showing the strict rules of distribution , please see Intestacy rules- Distribution Table
• Partners to whom you are not married (or in a civil partnership with) get absolutely nothing even if they were co-habiting with you at the time of your
• If you are married (or in a Civil Partnership), the amount going to your spouse/civil partner could be restricted with the possibility that even
estranged relatives could benefit.
• Part of your estate could go to your parents. Whilst you may wish to provide for elderly parents, the consequence could be an additional charge to
Inheritance Tax on the subsequent death of your parents.
• If you die and have no relatives then your WHOLE estate would go to the government rather than dear friends or charitable causes whom you may want to
• It is also possible to unwittingly die intestate. This will happen if you have made a will but it is declared invalid. This often happens where people
have purchased a ‘Do It Yourself’ Will at a stationery shop rather than taken professional advice.
Unless specifically stated otherwise, entering a marriage or civil partnership will automatically revoke your Will. Divorce (or dissolution of a civil partnership) doesn’t revoke a Will but treats the former partner as though they had died on the date of the dissolution.
Read more about making a will:
Why do you need to have a written Will?
What happens if you do not write a Will? (Intestacy Rules)
What to consider when writing or making a Will
Important components of a Will
Information about our fixed fee Will writing service
Intestacy rules – Order of Entitlement Distribution list
Contact us about your probate matter 02071830084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org