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Intestacy Solicitors Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted & Harrow

Preparing a Will allows you to make sure that your estate – the property, money and possessions that you own – will be shared in a manner of your choosing. But in some cases, a person will have died without making a Will or, having made a Will, it may be found that this is invalid. This is known as dying ‘intestate'. When this happens, a special set of legal rules called the Rules of Intestacy are used to determine how the person's estate should be distributed.

Breakthrough Family Law's service is uniquely client-focused – we will take the time to explain all matters clearly, straightforwardly and in plain English. Our solicitors are approachable and accessible, on hand to answer any questions you may have and available to make appointments at times that suit you. We appreciate that losing a family member or close friend can be extremely distressing – whatever your circumstances, speak with one of our specialisy Intestacy and Estate Planning lawyers today to find out how we can help.

What do the Rules of Intestacy say?

First, it is important to point out that the Rules of Intestacy are standard rules – they apply in the same way to everyone. This can mean that certain individuals can find themselves treated harshly when it comes to sharing out the deceased's assets, and some critics suggest that the Rules do not take into account modern family relationships – for example, when a couple live together but are not married.

After funeral expenses, debts and taxes have been paid by the estate, the rules determining priority – who gets what and in what order – come into effect.

If the deceased is married or in a civil partnership with issue (i.e. they have children, grandchildren, etc) their spouse or civil partner will receive:

  • All of their personal items
  • The first £250,000 of their estate
  • Half of any remainder of the estate – this is called the residuary estate

The other half of the residuary estate will then be shared equally amongst their issue. If the person died without issue, the whole of the estate will go to their spouse or civil partner.

What happens if the deceased was not married or in a civil partnership?

In these cases, there is a prescribed order for who will inherit the whole of the deceased's estate. The order of priority is:

  • Children (or grandchildren);
  • Parents;
  • Siblings of whole blood (or their children);
  • Siblings of half-blood (or their children);
  • Grandparents;
  • Aunts and uncles of whole blood (or their children);
  • Aunts or uncles of half-blood (or their children);

If there no surviving relatives as mentioned above, the estate passes to the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall – this is known as ‘bona vacantia'

Contact our Intestacy Lawyers in Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted, Chesham and Chorleywood

The intestacy solicitors at Breakthrough Family Law can provide advice on all matters relating to intestacy. As well as providing guidance on drafting a valid and legally binding Will to ensure that intestacy does not occur, we can offer support and advice to beneficiaries throughout this process and advise on your options if you are unhappy with how your loved one's estate has been shared.

Our experienced team of lawyers are based in Beaconsfield, Berkhamsted, Chesham, Chorleywood. Contact us today on 01494 776 696 or using our online form to arrange an appointment with one of our team.


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