Guidance on Intestacy

Many people during their lifetime do not make any will and upon their death, their estate will be distributed inline with the rules of Intestacy.

Total Intestacy:  Where a person does not leave any will

Partial Intestacy: Where a person may have a valid will but fails to dispose of whole of the residuary estate

Step 1

Trust and Personal Representatives (PR)

The court will appoint administrators (PR) to dispose of the deceased’s estate and intestacy rules impose a trust over all the property in respect of which a person dies intestate. Personal representatives will also be responsible for

  • Funeral expenses
  • Testamentary and administrative expenses
  • Debts and Taxes ( Income and Inheritance)

Step 2 (Division of remaining Estate)


The spouse or civil partner gets all chattels ( tangible moveable items, such as Car, furniture and personal possessions)

Children will not get any Chattels at all, every tangible movable item will pass to the spouse or civil partner.

Real Property/Estate

The spouse or civil partner receives a compulsory first £250,000 tax-free. The remaining estate will be divided equally between the children and spouse


John Died intestate he left a house which is valued at £500,000 and personal belongings worth 100,000. John has a civil partner Ammy  and two sons, James and Rupert

Chattels (£100,000)

The personal property (Chattels) whole £ 100,000 will go to his civil partner Ammy

Real Estate(£ 500,00)

The compulsory £250,000 will go to Ammy

The Remaining £ 250, 000 will be divided equally between Civil Partner (Ammy) and John’s Sons( James and Rupert)

Ammy will get another £125,000

James and Rupert will get  £125,000 ( their individual share will be £62,500)

Single, Divorced or Widowed

  • For those people who are single, divorced or widowed then everything will be left firstly to their children.
  • If they do not have any children then the estate will be left to their parents or to their grandchildren if their children are deceased
  • If they do not have any parents then the estate will be left to their siblings or their sibling’s children if their siblings are to deceased
  • If they do not have siblings then the estate will be left to their grandparents
  • If they do not have any living grandparents then the estate will be left to any one of their uncles and aunts or their children if they are deceased 
  • If they do not have an uncle or aunt for which the estate can pass to then the estate will pass to the Government

Adopted and Illegitimate Children

Adopted children are treated as children of their adoptive parents

An illegitimate child will also be treated as child of the deceased person

Terms of Entitlement
Interests of beneficiaries is  contingent upon attaining the age of 18 years  or earlier marriage

Aggrieved Party

The law allows certain categories of aggrieved people who may have been left out of the will or are not inheriting on an intestacy to apply for a benefit from the estate following the death of a testator. This is a complex area of law please seek advice from legalally’s experienced solicitors on this matter

For further individual legal help

  • Legalally has a team of experienced solicitors who will support and guide you throughout your legal issue and will strive to achieve the best result for you


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legalally does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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