Intestacy | Read Time 5 Minutes.
Intestacy is when a person passes away without leaving a valid will. In this case, they are said to die “intestate” or “testate.” Intestacy can also apply when an individual does leave a valid will, but has failed to specify what will happen to their estate. This is formally known as partial intestacy.
Intestacy can be really scary for families whose loved ones have passed without leaving them security. The UK has strict regulations for intestacy and the estate of the person who has passed must be divided according to those laws. Furthermore, this can often result in spouses and children getting nothing if there is no will in place.
what are the rules and regulations?
In England and Wales there is a statutory set of rules that were enforced in 2014. If you die intestate, your estate must be divided in accordance with these rules. The Inheritance and Trustees Power Act states that the inheritant of an intestate estate is based on family connections. An intestate estate does not take close relationships into account.
The rules that are laid out for intestacy are strict and follow a set pattern. Intestacy laws use family lines to find out if anyone is eligible to inherit the estate.
When a deceased individual has no known relatives, their estate is passed onto the crown, and their assets become “Bona Vacantia” or owner-less goods.
the flow of intestacy
The distribution of intestacy is set out in Section 46 of The Administration of Estates Act 1925. The flow of intestacy is set out as follows:
what are the largest risks?
- Unmarried partners will never benefit from the estate, even if you live together.
- Step children and foster childern cannot inherit from intestacy.
- If you re-marry, you need to write a new will, as the previous will becomes invalid. If you don’t, you risk leaving nothing to your children, as the new spouse will inherit most of the assets.
- Needs and requirements aren’t taken into account; It is strictly executed through the familial liner.
- Your estate could end up being passed on to a very distant family member.
Why is intestacy particularly relevant for the lgbt community?
So many modern families and couples are choosing not to get married or enter into a civil partnership.
Because of this, less and less people are feeling the need to write a will. But if one partner dies without writing a will there is a huge risk that the other partner may receive nothing from their estate. The estate will automatically go to the individual’s family.
For LGBT people especially, this is could mean that the living partner is not legally entitled to any of the estate, and risks being left with nothing.
Whether you marry or not, we definitely recommend that every individual drafts and re-visits their will at some point in their lives. For LGBT individuals, this just means that extra safety for the future.
we can help you write your will
No one wants the stress of having to write a will. Thinking that far ahead into the future can be a terrifying thing to confront. But preparing yourself now to avoid issues in the future will be the best option for you and for your family.
If you are an LGBT member, it will be beneficial for you to protect yourself with a will now. It’s important to protect your family when the time comes.
Having a lawyer to help you write your will is definitely worth every penny to protect your future. A lawyer will talk you through the process and will be knowledgeable on the details that to go into a will.
You can devise your will alone. But a will that hasn’t been certified or approved by a legal professional could be thrown out in a court of law if there are any disputes when dividing the estate.