Intestacy or an intestate death is a legal term describing a situation where someone dies without having a valid will. If you are in position where you need to deal with the affairs of someone who has passed leaving no valid will call our estates team free of charge on either 0800 612 6105 or 020 8150 2010. We offer a sympathetic service designed to help you through a difficult time.
Rules of Intestacy
In the event that someone dies and there is no will, there are laws concerning what will happen to the deceased estate. These are known as the rules or laws of intestacy. Firstly an executor needs to be determined to manage the estate, in the case of an intestate death this person is known as the estate administrator. Secondly, the beneficiaries of the assets need to be named. This is all dictated in accordance with the rules.
How IWC can Help
In such cases it's advisable to seek legal advice. The deceased has made no provisions for the distribution of their assets and the tax implications. This means it is a lot more complex. IWC offer a Nationwide, low cost, fixed fee probate service.
Probate Specialists - We are specialists in Estate Administration, probate and will writing.The law changes constantly, a probate expert will be in the best position to advise you.
Nationwide Coverage - Across the whole of England, our head office is in Croydon, Surrey.
Fully Qualified - Works are carried out by full STEP members and/or Law degree qualified probate practitioners.
Inclusive Service - When we deal with your probate application, we take care of the entire process.
Free Advice & No-Obligation Appointments - You can call our Free advice line, open until 10pm 7 days a week - on 0800 612 6105. Or make your no obligation appointment to discuss estate administration.
Probate and Intestacy
When one applies for probate in the case of intestacy, they are applying for letters of administration to be granted legal responsibility of the deceased estate. The document allows them to take control of the assets; it is presented at financial institutions to allow access to bank accounts etc. The administrator is then able to fulfill their duties including paying debts, solicitors fees, funeral expenses, retrieving monies owed to the deceased and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Intestacy law state that the following persons are permitted to apply for probate in this strict hierarchy:
The person can only apply if there is a legitimate reason why individuals above themselves in the hierarchy cannot, such as death, mental capacity or bankruptcy. Individuals under the age of 18 cannot apply and must do so with a second person.
Beneficiaries in an Intestate Death
A similar hierarchy applies when determining the beneficiaries of a deceased estate in intestacy-law. You can see a full account of this here on our intestacy chart.
This is obviously not ideal and intestate deaths often turn into sour battles. For example, if the estate is worth less than £250,000, the husband/wife of the deceased will inherit the entire estate. However, common law spouses are not entitled to inherit anything. Aside from this, no pre-arrangements have been made in order to limit the amount of inheritance tax owed. If assets exceeded the current nil rate band, everything above this limit would be subject to inheritance tax at 40%.
If you're concerned about intestacy-laws and would like to discuss your options to contest probate, call IWC on now 0800 612 6105 for free impartial advice. There are tight deadlines involved so don't delay.