Distribution on Intestacy
The order upon how an estate is split under the Intestacy Rules depends on the value of the estate and the surviving family members of the deceased.
An estate is split under the Intestacy Rules with family members who were closest toe deceased. A spouse or civil partner has priority over every other family member but they may have to share the residuary estate depending upon the specific circumstances of the deceased’s estate.
If the deceased is divorced or their civil partnership has legally ended, the ex partner will be unable to inherit under the rules of intestacy. However, partners that have informally separated may still apply.
If the deceased was cohabiting at the time of death but they were not married or in a civil partnership their partner is unable to inherit under the Intestacy Rules.
If there are children who have survived the person and if the estate is valued at more than £250,000.00 they are entitled to inherit. For the avoidance of any doubt, adopted children and step-children have the same rights to inherit under the rules of intestacy.
If a partner (through marriage or civil partnership) has survived they will inherit the following:
- The first £250,000.00 of the estate; and
- All personal possessions of the deceased (whatever their value); and
- Half of the remaining estate.
If there are no surviving children the partner will inherit all personal belongings and the whole estate with interest from the date of death.
In order for Grandchildren and great grandchildren of the deceased their parent or grandparent must have died and they can only inherit in equal shares the share their parent or grandparent would have inherited if they were still alive.
If there are other relatives still alive such as parents or siblings they may inherit under the Intestacy Rules but it depends on the following situation: –
- If there is a surviving civil or married partner;
- If there are surviving children; and
- The amount of the estate.
The order of other people who can inherit under the rules are as follows: –
- Aunts and Uncles; and
- Half aunts and uncles.
A cousin can inherit if the aunt or uncle would have inherited died before the intestate person.
Certain people are unable to inherit from the estate however, they are able to apply to the court for some financial provision from the estate, these include: –
- Unmarried partners;
- Lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership;
- Relations only by marriage;
- Carers; and
Financial provision can be awarded by either maintenance as an ongoing payment or a lump sum. This is decided by the court based on the specific circumstances of the deceased’s estate.
If no relatives have survived the intestate person the estate will pass directly to the Crown.
If you have any questions in relation to the Intestacy Rules please contact our office in order to discuss your case and a member of our Probate team will advise you.