When someone dies without a will, their property will be shared out according to the rules of intestacy. Anyone who dies without a will is called an intestate person.

Creating a will is important to ensure your estate is passed on to your loved ones, and the people or charities you want to give to.

The rules of intestacy may mean that your estate is shared about amongst others who you would not want to it be given to, and it may not be given to those you want it to be given to.

Under the rules of intestacy, only married or civil partners and some close other relatives can inherit and this means friends can often be missed.

the rules of intestacy also apply in the case of invalid wills – if you’ve made a will but it is not legally valid then it cannot be used, and any wishes within it are disregarded and instead, the rules of intestacy apply.

Your married partner and civil partners can only inherit from you if they are in a valid relationship at the time of death.

So if you’re no longer in a relationship, they can’t inherit.

Neither can common-law partners – that are simply cohabiting.

These are complex rules, so seek legal advice if you think you are entitled to some of an estate.

Children will not inherit under the laws of intestacy if there is a surviving partner. However, if there isn’t one, then the children will inherit.

If there is a surviving partner, then the children will only inherit if the value of one half of the estate is above £250,000.

Under the law, children won’t receive the inheritance immediately, rather they will be given it at the age of 18, or if they marry or form a civil partnership before that age.

Who else can’t inherit?

At DWS We have been awarded the title of ‘Leicestershire Law Firm of the Year 2011’ and for our exceptional levels of service, we were awarded ‘Excellence in Client Service 2011.’

For peace of mind that your loved ones will be left with what is rightfully theirs, contact us today and speak an expert from our Wills, Trust and Probate Department. Our specialist wills, trust & probate solicitors can write and store your will and what’s’ more, our basic will prices are FIXED FEE.