In situations where a person dies without a Will, that person is considered to have died ‘Intestate’ which means the ‘Intestacy Rules’ then take effect.
The Intestacy Rules are a statutory order as to who will benefit from your estate if you hav not made such provision yourself by way of a Will. Following this statutory order, if you do not have any children then your spouse will inherit your estate entirely. If you do not have a spouse but you have children, then your children will inherit.
If you have both a spouse and children, your spouse will not inherit the entirety of your estate. In this situation your spouse will inherit the first £250,000 of your estate and all personal possessions.The rest will be shared as to one half for your spouse and one half equally between the children. There are other categories of beneficiaries depending on your family circumstance with ultimately the crown being the beneficiary.
The only way in which you can therefore ensure that your wishes are carried out is by having a Will.
Contact the Private Client team