What Happens If I Die Without A Will?

Considering what happens after we pass away can be difficult for both us and our loved ones. However, passing away without a Will written can cause serious complications and interpersonal issues. Here, we will take a closer look at what happens when you die without a Will and how this might impact your family and other loved ones.

What if I die without a Will?

The most important consideration to think about is that when someone dies without a Will, who inherits is not simple and straightforward. Your money will not be shared out in accordance with your wishes, as these will not have been enshrined in law - even if you have verbally shared these with a relative or friend. Under such circumstances, the legal default is recognised over and above any claims.

How intestate rules work in the UK

If you die without a Will in the UK, you die intestate. In this case, there are legal defaults in place to try and ensure that your estate is passed on to the legally appropriate person. For example, if you have a spouse or civil partner, they will retain your assets entirely, and up to £270,000 of property. After this, any funds will be divided amongst your children.

What about if I don’t have direct relatives?

If you do not have a spouse or children, and your parents have passed on, a distant relative may inherit your estate. In order to prevent this from happening, you can write a Will to leave your estate to friends, charity, or any relative of your choosing.

Disputes after a death

Financial disputes between family members following a death in the family are unfortunately common, and sometimes even having a written Will does not prevent this. However, you can reduce the chances of this happening by writing a Will and being open with your loved ones about its contents. You will have a complete say over who inherits which parts of your estate, and how it is divided, and it makes the entire process quicker and easier for everyone involved, as well as reducing the applicable inheritance tax.

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