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If someone dies without leaving a Will, then they die “intestate”.  There are complicated rules laid down in law which determine who inherits. Co-habitees, step-children and friends are not currently entitled to provision under the intestacy rules.

A civil partner or spouse will only inherit everything automatically if the estate is worth less than £250,000.  If the estate is worth more than that amount, then the civil partner or spouse could end up sharing the estate with children. If there are no children, a civil partner or spouse may have to share the estate with wider family members such as parents and brothers and sisters. Ultimately, if there are no surviving blood relatives the estate is paid to the Crown Estates.  The attached diagram sets out the main provisions of the intestacy rules for England and Wales.

There is no provision under the Intestacy Rules for relatives who are disabled or vulnerable and perhaps incapable of dealing with inherited assets.

Our team can advise on the intestacy rules and assist in the application for Letters of Administration to enable the estate to be administered properly.