You made something we were dreading remarkably easy and your forthright and professional attitude was extremely impressive. Kevin Brown

0117 907 1002

Willing to give peace of mind

Intestacy rules

If there is no Will, then these rules apply on deaths occurring after 1st February 2009.

If there is a Surviving Spouse or Civil Partner

If a spouse or civil partner survives the deceased and the following conditions are also true:

  • there are no surviving issue (i.e. children, grandchildren, remoter lineal descendants)
  • no surviving parents
  • no surviving brothers or sisters of the whole blood (or their issue)

then assets will pass to the surviving spouse or civil partner absolutely.

If there are surviving issue then assets will be divided as follows:

  • Personal chattels to spouse or civil partner
  • ‘Statutory Legacy’ of £250,000 to spouse or civil partner
  • Life interest in half of any remainder to spouse or civil partner (i.e. right to income until death)
  • Remaining half of residue to issue upon statutory trusts.

If there are no surviving issue but there are surviving parents, brothers or sisters (or their issue), then assets will be divided as follows:

  • Personal items and property (‘chattels’) to spouse or civil partner
  • ‘Statutory Legacy’ of £450,000 to spouse or civil partner
  • Half any residue to spouse or civil partner absolutely
  • Remainder of the estate to parents in equal shares if there is more than one. If there are no surviving parents, then to brothers and sisters of the whole blood (or their issue) upon statutory trusts.

If there is no surviving Spouse or Civil partner

Assets will be distributed to relatives in the following order:

  1. To issue upon statutory trusts, but if no issue then
  2. To parents absolutely (in equal shares if both alive), but if no parents, then
  3. To brothers and sisters of the whole blood upon statutory trusts, but if none, then
  4. To brothers and sisters of the half-blood upon statutory trusts, but if none, then
  5. To grandparents absolutely (in equal shares if more than one), but if none, then
  6. To uncles and aunts of the whole blood upon statutory trusts, but if none, then
  7. To uncles and aunts of the half-blood upon statutory trusts, but if none, then
  8. To the Crown.

Notes

Rights of spouse or civil partner

Redemption of life interest

A spouse or civil partner may elect to convert a life interest into a capital sum. Election must be made within 12 months of grant of letters of representation. A complex formula for determining the relevant value is laid down.

If the deceased and their spouse or civil partner were joint owners of the matrimonial home, ownership will automatically pass to the surviving joint owner. Neither intestacy rules nor the wishes of any Will come into effect.

If the property was in sole ownership of the deceased or their interest was as ‘tenant-in-common’, then the house (or their interest in the property) will form part of the undisposed estate. The surviving spouse or civil partner has the right to purchase the property and they can inform the personal representatives (the executor or administrator) that they wish to use the capitalized life interest mentioned above to acquire the house. However, if there is a shortfall they must make up the remaining value themselves. This intention must be stated in writing to the representatives within 12 months of the grant.

Statutory Trusts

A Statutory Trust is set up to hold property equally for children who are either alive or en ventre sa mère (ie. a baby still in utero) at the date of the intestate's death. Such children have only a contingent interest, meaning that they are ignored unless certain circumstances arise (they must reach 18 years of age, marry or enter into a civil partnership earlier). If a child dies leaving issue at the date of death, then those grandchildren (or their issue) will take the share of their parent provided that they themselves reach 18 years, marry or enter into a civil partnership earlier.

This is set out in the Administration of Estates Act (see the link below).

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Westbury Wills

57 Sylvan Way, Sea Mills, Bristol BS9 2LB United Kingdom
Phone: 0117 907 1002