Who is entitled to a share of someone’s property, possessions and money if they die without making a will?
Who cannot inherit if someone die without making a will?
Rules of Intestacy Explained.
When a person dies intestate – put simply, without a valid legal will – and where the deceased leaves surviving descendants, the property will be distributed equally among the surviving descendants who are “of the nearest degree” (in most cases, the children of the deceased), subject to the rights of the spouse, if any.
Should any of the children of the intestate die before the intestate, the Act sets out that the share of the deceased child will be distributed, in equal portion, and to “the nearest degree”, to that child’s descendants, if any.
Where the intestate dies, leaving no spouse or children, the property is to be left, in equal portions, to each surviving parent. If only one parent survives the deceased intestate, the property is distributed to that parent exclusively.
The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a will:
- unmarried partners (sometimes wrongly called ‘common-law’ partners)
- lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership
- relations by marriage
- close friends
Children do not receive their inheritance immediately. They receive it when they:
- reach the age of 18, or
- marry or form a civil partnership under this age.
Until then, trustees manage the inheritance on their behalf.
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