I'VE NOT MADE A WILL - WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ESTATE WHEN I DIE?


Adrian Chambers - Law For LifeHello, My name is Adrian Chambers and I’m a solicitor with Law for Life. Welcome to our web pages relating to Wills. Making a will is one of those things that we know we should do but rarely get around to actually sorting out. We can help you make the will you want, using our on-line documents, quickly, easily and at low cost.

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I’VE NOT MADE A WILL – WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ESTATE WHEN I DIE


MARRIED WITH CHILDREN If you are married or in a civil partnership and have children and die and have not made a will then your spouse may not inherit all your estate. Your spouse or civil partner would will be entitled to receive up to £250,000 of your estate assets plus your personal possessions. Half of the excess over £250,000 is then shared equally amongst your children. Your spouse/civil partner also has the right to the interest only on the other half of the excess during his/her lifetime, then after the death of the spouse/ civil partner, to the children in equal shares.

However, the problem is, if your net assets are worth more than £250,000, then that your spouse could potentially lose his or her home because if you die intestate, and have not made a will, the surviving children or grandchildren are entitled to a proportion of the estate if it exceeds £250,000. That means that all of your assets and property would not pass entirely to your spouse.

MARRIED WITH NO CHILDREN Your spouse would be entitled to everything up to £450,000 plus your personal possessions. Everything else over £450,000 would be divided equally between your spouse and your parents. If your parents have already died, their share would go to your brothers or sisters. If there were no children, no parents and no brothers or sisters of the whole blood then your spouse receives everything.

UNMARRIED WITH CHILDREN If you are unmarried with children then your children would receive your estate in equal shares when they reach 18.

UNMARRIED WITH NO CHILDREN If you are unmarried with no children then your estate would pass to your parents in equal shares.

UNMARRIED WITH NO CHILDREN OR PARENTS If you were unmarried with no children and no parents then your brothers and sisters of the whole blood would inherit in equal shares. If there were no brothers or sisters of the whole blood then your brothers and sisters of the half-blood would inherit in equal shares.

UNMARRIED WITH NO CHILDREN, PARENTS BROTHERS OR SISTERS If the above circumstances applied then your grandparents would inherit in equal shares.

UNMARRIED, NO CHILDREN, PARENTS, BROTHERS/SISTERS, GRANDPARENTS If the above circumstances applied your estate would pass to your uncles and aunts of the whole blood. If there were none of them then to your uncles and aunts of the half blood.

NO SPOUSE/CIVIL PARTNER OR BLOOD RELATIVES In these circumstances your estate would pass to the Crown.

UNMARRIED COUPLES Unmarried couples do not automatically inherit anything. By law, only married couples are recognised as having any significant rights over property. Therefore, if you are unmarried and have not made a will, your partner will not get anything!

SEPARATED BUT NOT DIVORCED If you are separated but not divorced and you have not made a will, your spouse may be entitled to claim part or all of your estate in certain circumstances. Even if your ex-spouse cannot make a claim any assets you have left to your children’s trust fund may fall under your ex-spouse’s control!

PARENTS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN An ex-spouse could be given full Parental rights over your children even if your original separation agreement or court order state said differently. With a will, you can appoint people you want as guardians for your children in the event of your death.