An intestate person is a person who dies without making a will. When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules. These are called the rules of intestacy. Intestacy Rules (set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925) determine who gets what if you die without making a will.
The rule provides that only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.
If someone makes a will but it is not legally valid, the rules of intestacy decide how the estate will be shared out, not the wishes expressed in the will. If there is no will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. If the grant is given, they are known as ‘administrators’ of the estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.
In some cases, for example, where the person who benefits is a child, the law states that more than one person must act as the administrator
When someone dies without leaving a will, dealing with their estate can be complicated. It can also take a long time – months or even years in some very complex cases. We are experienced in probate matters and are known for our expediency.