What happens if you die without a will

Around 70 percent of the UK population die without a will or without a valid will. This is called dying intestate, and in these instances the law decides who will benefit from the estate of the deceased. The outcome might not be what the deceased would have wanted.

Invalid wills are more common in “home made” wills.

If you are living with your partner at the date of your death and die intestate, the intestacy rules make no provision for your partner unless the property is jointly owned.

If a person dies intestate, only blood relatives can benefit. The estate cannot be inherited by people such as:

  • Unmarried partners
  • Same sex partners, unless they are in a Civil Partnership
  • Step-children
  • Relations by marriage
  • Carers
  • Friends

Your estate may pass instead to your children if you have any, or family you may not even have seen for years.

It is therefore very important to make a will, however little you think you may have to leave. It is especially important if you have children; you may wish to make provision for the appointment of a guardian for them in the event of your death.

We can advise you on all will matters: please contact any of our offices for an appointment.