Probate Solicitors Limited - Specialists in Will Writing
What happens if I don't make a Will?
Intestacy is the formal word to describe the situation when someone dies without a will – they are said to have died "intestate". When this happens the law (Administration of Estates Act 1925) governs the way the estate is distributed.
Even if a person has a will they could still die "partially intestate" if their will doesn’t deal with the whole of their estate, for instance if a beneficiary has died before them.
If you die "partially intestate" the law of intestacy will deal with anything that the will doesn’t or any gift that failed. See our intestacy flowchart to see what happens to the remainder of your estate.
Important considerations about dying intestate
- If you live with someone, but are not married or in a civil partnership, they will receive nothing under the rules of intestacy. This could lead to costly litigation by your loved one, particularly if they were financially dependent on you!
- If you have a will but have married or re-married since making it, your will is no longer valid!
- If you separate from your spouse and had previously made a will in your spouse’s favour, that will remains valid until you revoke it, re-marry or make a new one!
- It can take months or even years to administer an estate if you have not left a will. Tracing distant family members is time consuming and expensive.
- The Court can make decisions about who cares for your children if there is no parent surviving. Your will is your only opportunity to appoint guardians so that the court knows what your intentions were when considering this important matter.