What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will, you risk your estate being distributed differently to your wishes, and you risk someone that you would want to inherit something missing out.

Your estate will follow the intestacy rules, which are as follows:


If you are married, your spouse or civil partner will receive the first £322,000 of your estate. The threshold of £322,000 is subject to change.

If you have more than £322,000, the remainder will be split in half. The first half will go to the surviving spouse or civil partner, and the second half will be split between your children*.

Not Married

If you are not married, the law does not acknowledge long-term partners as spouses, and as such your relationship will not be recognised under the rules of intestacy.

If you pass away with children, they will inherit your residuary estate equally amongst them*. Your residuary estate is any assets and monies that are leftover after all of your bills and liabilities, for example, funeral costs, have been paid.

If you pass away without children, it will follow the below order:

  1. Parents
  2. Full siblings – or nieces and nephews if siblings pass away before you
  3. If there are no full siblings, half-siblings
  4. Grandparents
  5. Aunts and Uncles
  6. The Crown (known as Bona Vacantia)

*The group of children includes illegitimate and adopted children, but it does not include step-children.

Ultimately, to ensure that your estate goes to the people or charities that you want it to, we would always advise to make a Will. This is especially the case where the family dynamic is blended.

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