If you are a resident of England and Wales and die without having made a legally valid Will or a Will that has partially failed in some way, your estate becomes subject to the Rules of Intestacy.

The Rules of Intestacy determine how your estate is to be distributed after the payment of all your debts and liabilities, testamentary expenses and funeral costs.

Please note:
1. The issue (any child/children) of a pre-deceased member of a class (relation group) will inherit that share
2. Step relations have no entitlement

The Rules of Intestacy do not recognise ‘unmarried partners’ and therefore no provision is made for them.

The value of the family home, if owned by the deceased, is included in the surviving spouse or civil partners entitlements of up to £270,000 and £450,000.

The flowchart below shows the most recent update from January 2020 and applies to all deaths after Oct 2014. View or download the PDF file below. 

What Happens if you Don't Write a Will?

Many people are of the belief that if they die without making a Will, any assets they own including property, money and any savings, will automatically go to their spouse and children.
Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.