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01 November 2021

Intestacy Rules

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What happens if I die without a Will?

Don’t leave it to chance, for more information on creating the right Will which protects your final wishes contact our team and avoid the consequences of intestacy on 01284 767766.

If you die without leaving a Will, you are said to have died intestate and your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. The consequences of this may be that certain loved ones receive nothing, but distant relatives who you may have never met inherit a share of your estate.

Depending on the value of your estate and the relatives who survive you, the Intestacy Rules make provision for your spouse or civil partner and your children or grandchildren. If you die without leaving any children or grandchildren, then after a fixed sum is paid to your spouse or civil partner, the remainder of your estate passes to your parents or your siblings if your parents have predeceased you.

The Intestacy Rules do not take into account the fact that you may want your spouse to inherit your entire estate, or that you may not get on with your siblings and would not want them to receive a share. You may have promised to leave an item of sentimental value to a close friend – without a Will, this gift will not take effect. Perhaps the biggest negative to leaving no Will arises if you and your partner are unmarried but merely cohabiting. The Intestacy Rules will not provide for an unmarried partner at all, which as you can imagine could make things very difficult for them. If this situation arose, your partner would have to apply to the Court for provision to be made for them which will be a time-consuming and complicated process.

The uncertainty and potential for dispute about the distribution of your estate can be avoided by leaving a Will. Dying intestate can also result in a larger Inheritance Tax bill, please see our guide on Inheritance Tax and Tax Efficient Wills for more information. Moreover, you will have the peace of mind that you are providing for your loved ones after you die.

In fact, there is little advantage to not making a Will. Our solicitors will be pleased to advise you about making a Will which is tailored to your individual circumstances.

Get organised and prepare or update your Will today. Start by contacting our Wills and Probate team, we offer services across Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire. We have offices in Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds and are happy to arrange a meeting wherever you are or over the phone.

To discuss your options, get in contact today on 01284 767766.

Please note this article is provided for general information purposes only to clients and friends of Atkins Dellow LLP. It is not intended to impart legal advice on any matter. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in this article is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.

© Atkins Dellow LLP 2021

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