Intestacy | Read Time 5 Minutes.
Intestacy is when a person passes away without leaving a valid will. In this case, they 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 pass without leaving them security. Whatsmore ,the UK has strict regulations for intestacy and the law divides the deceased’s estate accordingly. Furthermore, this can often result in spouses and children getting nothing if there is no will in place.
what are the intestacy rules?
In England and Wales, there is a statutory set of rules, enforced in 2014. Interestingly, if you die in intestacy, the state divides your estate in accordance with these rules. The Inheritance and Trustees Power Act states that the beneficiary of an intestate estate comes from linear family connections. Sadly, An intestate estate does not take close relationships into account.
The rules laid out for intestacy are strict and use family lines to determine if anyone is eligible to inherit the estate.
When a deceased individual has no known relatives, the state passes their estate 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 most significant risks?
- Unmarried partners will never benefit from the estate, even if you live together.
- Stepchildren and foster children cannot inherit from intestacy.
- If you re-marry, you need to write a new will, as the last will becomes invalid. If you don’t, you risk leaving nothing to your children, as the new spouse will inherit most of the assets.
- Intestacy won’t take needs and requirements into account; It will simply follow a linear family chain.
- Intestacy could pass your estate on to a distant family member or even the Crown.
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, fewer and fewer people are feeling the need to write a will. However, 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, this could mean that the living partner is not legally entitled to any estate and risks receiving nothing.
Whether you marry or not, we recommend that every individual draft and re-visits their will at some point in their lives. For LGBT individuals, this 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. However, preparing yourself now to avoid issues in the future will be the best option for you and your family.
If you are an LGBT member, it will be beneficial to protect yourself with a will now. It’s essential to protect your family when the time comes.
Having a lawyer to help you write your will is worth every penny to protect your future. Whatsmore, a lawyer will talk you through the process and be knowledgeable on the details to go into a will.
You can devise your will alone. However,a will that is not 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.