Wills

Dying Without a Will (Intestacy)

When a person dies without leaving a Will, they are described as having died intestate. When an individual dies intestate their estate will be administered in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

At mfg we have a team of specialist legal advisors who can assist and advise you when someone has died intestate.

The Rules of Intestacy and Estate Administration

Follow our flowchart on how estates are distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

Jointly owned Assets

Assets held jointly can either be owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.

If you own land or property as beneficial joint tenants when you die, the survivor/s will automatically inherit your share. When this happens the assets are described as passing by ‘‘survivorship’’.

If you own the property as tenants in common, your co-owner/s will not automatically inherit your share in the land or property and instead your share will be distributed in accordance with the terms of your Will or the rules of intestacy if you do not have a Will.

Bank accounts held jointly automatically pass by survivorship to the surviving account holder. This can often cause problems when all the funds actually belong to the deceased.

Why it is important to make a Will

If you die without making a Will or if you make a Will which is invalid then the rules of intestacy decide how your estate will be administered. This is irrespective of what your wishes or intentions may have been.

At mfg our private client team has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to preparing a Will on your behalf. Our team of experienced legal advisors will take the time to understand your individual needs and circumstances to ensure that your Will accords with your wishes.

Read more information about the preparation of your Will.

Who cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy

The following individuals have no right to inherit from a deceased’s estate if they die intestate:-

  • Unmarried partners (this includes co-habiting couples and partners not in a civil partnership);
  • Relations by marriage;
  • Close friends; and
  • Carers

If you do not inherit under the rules of intestacy you may be able to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate. Our contentious probate specialists can provide you with more advice in this regard.

Changing how an Estate is Administered

It is possible to alter how an estate is administered when someone dies without leaving a Will or if a Will is invalid by Deed of Variation provided all those due to inherit agree and if  it is done within two years of the deceased’s death.

To discuss the preparation of a Deed of Variation further contact one of our specialists.

For more information on intestacy or to enquire about our free initial consultations please call to speak to one of our friendly experts.