Wills and Probate Solicitor covering Coventry, Warwick and Balsall Comman Specialist in Wills and Probate in the West Midlands
Phone 01926 484488
Fax 01926 484486
Mobile 07802 305901
Email carolsketchley


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       Intestacy

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. A person who dies without leaving a will is called an intestate person.

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.

Married partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. But partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy.

If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:

  • all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and
  • the first £250,000 of the estate, and
  • a life interest in half of the remaining estate. This means that if you are entitled to the life interest, you cannot get rid of or spend that part of the estate. You can, however, have the benefit of it during your lifetime.

If the estate is worth more than £450,000, there are no surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, but there are surviving parents, the partner will inherit:

  • all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died and
  • the first £450,000 of the estate with interest from the date of death and
  • one-half of the remaining estate.

If the estate is worth more than £450,000, there are no surviving children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren or parents, but there are surviving brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces, the partner will inherit:

  • all the personal property and belongings of the person who died and
  • the first £450,000 of the estate with interest from the date of death and
  • one-half of the remaining estate.