If someone dies without having made a Will they are said to die “intestate.”
In those cases the Government sets out in law the people entitled to the intestate estate – the person’s property, possessions and money. These rules are periodically reviewed.
The rules govern who gets what when someone dies without a Will. Spouses and civil partners are provided for as are children, if there is no-one in these categories, wider relatives will be looked at.
Unmarried partners or people who are co-habiting are not recognised by the provisions. The rules set out how much certain categories of claimant can receive in an intestacy. In some cases the amount is determined by a straight division of the Estate, in other cases, specific amounts can be paid.
The government guide “Intestacy – who inherits if someone dies without a Will?” can provide initial advice about what will happen and can be accessed here.
If there is no Will and there is no-one entitled under the Intestacy Rules then the Estate goes to the Government under rules called the “bona vacantia” rules.
Where the Intestacy Rules apply it can sometimes mean that those left behind are not properly provided for. In those cases if may be possible to bring a claim against the Estate and seek to adjust the shares that the various parties will receive.
If you are in a situation where a loved one has died and the intestacy rules mean that you will be in financial difficulties eg. because you are not provided for or because you will not receive enough from the Estate.