What are the Rules of Intestacy?


The English Rules of Intestacy are exceptionally complex, which is why it is always best to plan for the inevitable – and have a will written whilst you’re alive and well.

Firstly, you should be aware that if you were involved in a romantic relationship with the deceased, you will only stand to inherit if you were formally married, informally separated or in a recognised civil partnership at the time of their death.  If you were simply living together, you will not be able to claim inheritance this way.  Divorced or formally separated spouses will not be considered.

If the estate is valued at more than £250,000 and there are children or other direct descendents, you will automatically be entitled to all the deceased’s personal property and belongings, along with the first £250,000 from the estate and a lifetime interest in half of the remaining estate.  This means that you can gain interest on it but cannot spend it.

If the estate is valued at more than £450,000, what you will receive depends very much on who is left behind, including children, direct descendents, parents, spouses and nephews or nieces.  As a minimum however, you can expect to receive all personal property and belongings, the first £450,000 of the estate plus any interest accrued and half of the remaining estate.   To find our more about dying intestate please read our dedicated web page.

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