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Summary of the Rules of Intestacy

What is Intestacy?

Intestacy is when a person dies without leaving a valid Will. As a result their estate (basically their assets – property, cash, etc) must be shared out according to certain rules. These rules are known as the Rules of Intestacy. A person who dies without leaving a Will is called an intestate person.

Furthermore, if someone makes a Will that is not legally valid then again the Rules of Intestacy will apply. Consequently their estate will be distributed as per these rules and not the wishes expressed in the Will.

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Rules of Intestacy

These are a set of arbitrary government rules that state how a person’s will be divided in the absence of a Will. Only married couples or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy.

See the Intestacy flowchart for further details.

The government’s website also has a useful tool that will tell you who is due to inherit, all you have to do is answer a few simple questions. Click here to find out more.

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