What Happens If Someone Dies Without A Will?

In the UK, 61% of adults don’t have a Will – unbelievably, this equates to 30 million people. When we take on board this shocking statistic, it’s not surprising that many people die without having written a Will.

Dying without a Will can cause a lot of chaos and confusion for those left behind, in what is already difficult time. So, what happens if your loved one dies without a Will?

In this scenario, the deceased’s estate (which consists of their money, debts, personal items etc) must be shared in accordance with certain rules; these are known as the Rules of Intestacy.

When someone dies without a Will, they are deemed to have died intestate. This also applies if someone has a Will, but it isn’t legally valid which is why it’s so important to

obtain legal advice when writing a Will.

What if the deceased had children?

If there is no surviving spouse or civil partner, the deceased’s child or children will inherit the entire estate equally. Regardless of whether the deceased was estranged from one or more of those children. No one particular child takes priority because, say for instance, they are the eldest.

If the deceased died before their children turned 18, this can lead to even more complications. As there are minors involved, they need to be allocated a guardian to look after them in the absence of their parents.

In a Will, a parent can name a guardian for their children meaning that they have a say over who would raise their children should something happen. However, without a Will it may result in the Court deciding, and their decision may not be someone who they would have chosen.

To sum up, if you die without a Will your wishes may not be followed. Loved ones may be left out of inheriting anything, your estate may be divided up in a way that you wouldn’t have wanted, and your children could end up greatly disadvantaged.

Ensure that your wishes are fulfilled by making a valid Will. Your family will thank you for that

legacy you leave.