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What if There is No Will?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 23 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Will wills intestate intestacy

If an individual dies without having written a will then that individual’s belongings (usually referred to as that person’s estate) is said to be “intestate”. This means that the distribution of the estate is decided according to the law rather than anyone’s personal wishes. Usually the deceased’s closest family members will inherit parts of the estate though this may not always be the case. In order to avoid intestacy, it is strongly advised that all adults draw up wills.

Intestacy Law

“Intestacy” describes the state of an estate that still has assets once all outstanding debts and the deceased’s funeral has been paid for. These assets must then be distributed, and intestacy laws see to this distribution. Intestacy laws differ across the United Kingdom. In England and Wales the governing law is the Administration of Estate Act 1925. In Northern Ireland, the Rules of Intestacy are quite similar. In Scotland, the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 is the guiding legislation. In general these laws require that the estate be divided between blood and legal (spouse/civil partner) relatives only. However, the ways in which an estate would be divided between spouses/civil partners, children (and grandchildren/great-grandchildren), parents and siblings differ.

Tax Implications

If the law decides who inherits which parts of an estate, then any applicable taxes must be paid. However, very often the tax implications of a death can be reduced if a solicitor is consulted and structures a will in the most advantageous way for those who stand to inherit.

Dealing with Intestate Issues

If you are a surviving relative of someone who has passed away without leaving a will then it is best to consult a solicitor as soon as possible. Check in with the deceased’s solicitors to make sure that they are not holding a copy of the will and do a thorough search of all of the individual’s documents. Try to gather together as much evidence of the estate as you can: bank statements, deeds to property, valuable items, etc. If there are possessions of particular value that could be liable to harm or theft, consult a solicitor about putting them into a safe until they are distributed. The solicitor will also advise you on who should be acting as administrator of the estate (and doing these jobs). Usually this will be a relative. The administrator must follow all laws regarding the distribution of the estate, even if they run counter to what the deceased may have said while (s)he was alive.

When an individual dies without a will, the administration of his or her estate can become a complex and lengthy affair. At the end of it taxes will need to be paid, as well as fees for legal counsel. The best way to avoid this situation is to simply ensure that all adults have drawn up wills. Wills should be updated upon the birth of children, marriage, divorce, remarriage or in the event that dramatic changes occur and it is decided that someone who previously stood (or did not stand) to inherit should no longer be in (or out of) the will. Even if the idea of writing a will seems distasteful or superstitious, these are not good enough reasons to leave family members with the nightmare of wading through personal and estate affairs. If you do not have a will, consult your solicitor soon about ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your death.

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This is about my family my mom gave it to me she had nowwill saying that but the family now's what she wanted after she past away but there 9 sibling including myself they have to sign papers so I could sell it or can I sell it with out the signature or will I get in trouble for selling it it's my house
Big T - 23-Mar-17 @ 5:21 AM
My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless aftertrying so many ways to my husband back to me. One day at work, I was distracted, not knowing that my boss called me, so hesat and asked me what it was all about, I told him and he smiled and said it was no problem. I never understood what hemeant by it was no problem getting back my husband, he said he used a spell to get back his wife when she left him foranother man, and now they are together till date and initially I was shocked hearing something from my boss. He gave me anemail address of the Prophet Abuvia which helped him get his wife back, I never believed that this would work, but I had nochoice coming into contact with the sayings that I get done, and he asked for my information and that my husband was ableto propose to throw him the spell and I sent him the details, but after two days, my mother called me that my husband waspleading that he wants me back, I never believed, because it was just a dream and I had to rush off to my mother's placeand to my greatest surprise, was kneeling my husband beg mefor forgiveness that he wants me and the child back home, whenI gave prophet Abuvia a conversation regarding sudden change of my husband and he made clear to me that my husband willlove me until the end of the world, that he will never leave for another woman. Now me and my husband is back together andstarted doing funny things he has not done before, he makes me happy and do what it is supposed to do as a man withoutnagging. Please if you need help of any kind need, please contact Prophet Abuvia for help. His email is prophet.abuvia AT gm a i l . com his website is prophetAbuviasolutiontemple . webs . com
Sarah Coleman - 20-Mar-17 @ 3:16 PM
My father recently died my stepmother told me that he's not left a will even though previously a few years ago she had told me that he had and she had him change it to include her children. I'm stuck for what I can do from here. Does have any advice
Niks - 7-Mar-17 @ 7:04 PM
Hi recently my brother has died, my mum has always been his next of kin, he also has two daughters 27 & 25. Can you tell me by law who is his next of kin
Nic - 6-Mar-17 @ 3:21 AM
Hello, I have a situation where a Will leaves a 1/3 share of the 'residual estate' to a party in a Trust (the other 2/3 shares left to others in the Trust) and the person who wrote the will dies in 1974. According to the Will, Another person is allowed to live in the House for the remainder of their lifetime thereupon it will be returned to the Trust. That person died in 1989 but no one seems to have checked the original will and there appears to have been no probate. The house has been sold and the Trust was never credited with the proceeds or informed of the sale. Given the number of years past, and the fact that whoever sold the house is now also deceased, is there likely to be any remedy? The people named as the trustees of the Trust set up in the Will (from the deceased in 1974) are still alive. Thank you for your opinion
RobL - 4-Mar-17 @ 9:54 AM
4 weeks ago the police called at my home to notify me they'd found my ' StepFathers' body in his home apparently he'd been there for awhile and was decomposed.As they had no one else the founder police officer asked if I would be named as Next of Kin I agreed because of my mum I also informed them of a blood brother that might be alive.The Coroner was called, he decided an autopsy was needed to find cause of death etc ..his report found that natural causes were the reason.during this time a brother was indeed found but he wanted nothing to do with his dead brother at all.the coroner listed me on his report as next of kin.I don't know why I was asked as so far I've had no involvement the police office in charge refuses to release property siezed to me even though the coroner has agreed ive not been allowed to enter his bungalow even though landlord has been there looking for documents I just don't know what's going on
Teen - 25-Feb-17 @ 3:33 AM
SJ - Your Question:
My 102 year old nan died nearly a year ago and the will she made 30 years is lost by her son. She lived my mother (her daughter) for 22 years. Her daughter looked after her 24/7 and I the final 3 years of nans life it was harder. Nan passed away and her son couldn't be bothered to search for a flight to be there for her last hours. He always said he wanted no money. There was no inheritance, so savings, she lived life to the full. The funeral was all arranged by the family (daughters family) and he just arrived on the day. On the day we said to him do you want any money from the insurance claim he said no. so we used some fo the funds to sort the spare room to make it sleepable and clean. 10 months later he has demandeda breakfdown of the funeral,which we gave him, then New Years he demanded half of what was left and we told him in a letter which a settlement cheque that there was no money and this was it.he is now demandig liek £200- 400. he is skint and wanting money from where ever he can get it. we have said over and over there is no money.our family was so close to nan not like his. he wants to take his sister to court over it. he never help with his own mum.dilema

Our Response:
It's worth consulting a solicitor over this. If there was no Will the estate often has to go through the probate process if it's large enough. General inheritance rules are that the estate is divided equally between the children if there is no spouse.
FacingBereavement - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:33 PM
My father walked out on my mother leaving behind me (1) and my brother (3) he was having an affair and went on to purchase a house with his girlfriend, they never married. This being 35 years ago and we have had little contact with him since. He went on to have two more children with her.They purchased a house together which I believe was transferred to her name solely 30 odd years ago to avoid paying CSA to my mum. The question is, he died on new years day and I am wondering if my brother and I are entitled to any of his estate now or when she dies?I know their children would not want me or my brother to have any share of it and with it being in her name solely does this mean we wouldn't have any rights at all?
C77 - 20-Feb-17 @ 6:10 PM
my 102 year old nan died nearly a year ago and the will she made 30 years is lost by her son. She lived my mother (her daughter) for 22 years. Her daughter looked after her 24/7 and i the final 3 years of nans life it was harder.Nan passed away and her son couldn't be bothered to search for a flight to be there for her last hours. He always said he wanted no money. There was no inheritance, so savings, she lived life to the full. The funeral was all arranged by the family (daughters family) and he just arrived on the day.On the day we said to him do you want any money from the insurance claim he said no. so we used some fo the funds to sort the spare room to make it sleepable and clean. 10 months later he has demandeda breakfdown of the funeral,which we gave him, then New Years he demanded half of what was left and we told him in a letter which a settlement cheque that there was no money and this was it..he is now demandig liek £200- 400.. he is skint and wanting money from where ever he can get it...we have said over and over there is no money...our family was so close to nan not like his... he wants to take his sister to court over it. he never help with his own mum...dilema
SJ - 18-Feb-17 @ 4:09 PM
Aprilsutton2016 - Your Question:
I'm not sure what to do, our foster kids mother passed away and they want to make the arrangements for their mother but their step grandma said that they can't.does she have any say since their biological grandfather has passed away years ago. If any one knows what they can do lawfully let me know.

Our Response:
Do you mean arrangements regarding the funeral?
FacingBereavement - 13-Feb-17 @ 10:50 AM
I'm not sure what to do,our foster kids mother passed away and they want to make the arrangements for their mother but their step grandma said that they can't.does she have any say since their biological grandfather has passed away years ago. If any one knows what they can do lawfully let me know.
Aprilsutton2016 - 10-Feb-17 @ 2:36 AM
My father recently died, he was separated from his wife for a number of years and before he died he informed me that he has made a will in which he left most of his assets to me and his grandchildren. The day after he died his estranged wife borrowed the key to his house from a neighbour and changed the door locks denying me access to his property. She now say that the house and his assets belong to her because a will was never found. What do I do?
Blenchy - 4-Feb-17 @ 10:56 PM
Hi. I've lived with my grandmother from 1984 from I was 5 years of age she is now poor health and being assessed by mental health team. She always said the house was mine if anything happened to her I don't think there's a will if she has to go into a care home. Wot rights to the house do I have. She also has a son and daughter and my dad is deceased.
Baz - 1-Feb-17 @ 3:57 PM
I just got a call from police that my ex boyfriend has put me as next of kin as he did not talk to his family. He died and I don't know how to get a hold of his family on the other side of the country... and I don't know what I need to do now as to dealing with arrangements for the body ect? I haven't seen him or talked to him in a very long time... help
Overwhelmed - 1-Feb-17 @ 10:55 AM
My dad owned a property, he died 10 years ago. He left no will. He was married to my mum but her name was not on the property as owner. My mum has recently died leaving a will saying my brother gets everything she had. But the will doesn't say what she had. What does this mean? Is she referring to her share of the property? Can my brother inherit the property. Or will it be shared equally amongst us 5 siblings? Any advice desperately appreciated Merry
Merry - 1-Feb-17 @ 10:06 AM
My dad died last year and he never had a will there is me and my brother plus his wife what will happen to all his stuff will his wife get everything
Emz - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:28 PM
hi my mom died a month ago my mom and dad are divorce for 31 years he promise her the house. but house was still on his name all of a sudden he gave the house to my stepbrother. I want to know can he do that what happens with my moms 50% because they were married in community of property. I need advise please
amelia - 31-Jan-17 @ 8:55 AM
Hi, my brother died last year and did not leave a will. The estate is still being tied up. His son is a drug addict and we brothers and sister are not happy with him having everything . He did agree to us having power of attorney over him to help him wind everything up. We know he is not my brother's blood son as his wife had an affair and he was the result, he is not adopted but his name is on birth certificate as my brother's son. Can we stop him having everything ?
Paul - 26-Jan-17 @ 5:19 PM
My sister died in a car accident a year ago. Patrick, jenice and I heard that money will be given because of the accident. $30,000 My mother is keeping it all as soon as she gets it. We are all over 18. She died at age 19. We don't think this is fair. We would like to know what we can do.
Leelee - 23-Jan-17 @ 1:36 AM
Hens - Your Question:
Ok so the father in law is buying us a house we are paying the payments on it and when he dies he said it's ours, now he has 2 other kids how do we ensure that when he passes that they can't take the house from us when we are the ones paying for it? Should he put it in his sins name or joint name? And if that's done can they still get the house?

Our Response:
Yes if you're making the payments on the house, make sure you have a written agreement and proof of the payments etc. It's also worth asking your father in law to include details in his Will. He could also add his son's name as a ''joint tenant' on the property - that way the property will automatically go to his son if he dies.
FacingBereavement - 17-Jan-17 @ 10:21 AM
Hi my grandfather died suddenly at the age of 52 in 1952, my late father always spoke of the appalling way his death and the way his estate assets where dealt with,, I've been researching my family's history and found out that the day after my grandfathers death his nephew stole all of his steam engines, lorry's and military vehicles I then found that said nephews father,grandads brother got awarded probate less in 2 and half months ,, he took what would be a fortune in today's money never paid any of grandads many businesses bills and in turn all where put into liquidation by a corrupt accountants and a sheriff's sale held,, Grandad was a very clever and wealthy man,, he owned many properties and many successful businesses,, how ever he never wrote anything down and didn't have a will, I know the names of the probate court,who the probate was awarded to and the date and his son who stole all grandads vehicles, both deseased now but do have living children and grandchildren,, I just want to find out all the details of the scandel,, I don't want to benefit from it financially,, is there any way of finding out more information, Many thanks
Truthseeker1981 - 16-Jan-17 @ 6:25 PM
Ok so the father in law is buying us a house we are paying the payments on it and when he dies he said it's ours, now he has 2 other kids how do we ensure that when he passes that they can't take the house from us when we are the ones paying for it? Should he put it in his sins name or joint name? And if that's done can they still get the house?
Hens - 16-Jan-17 @ 3:45 AM
My sister died a few years ago, no children and not married. She was 21 and still.lived with our parents. At the time she had a boyfriend of about 3years. Now for 7years ive been asking for some important things back from him that belong to my sister. He's always refused until just before Christmas he said he would come and drop the the things off...hes got a new girlfriend and a baby on the way but he never came. Now it's something me and my mum are desperate to get back. Is there anyway or help out there to guide us in the right direction.Thank you
Char90 - 13-Jan-17 @ 1:47 PM
Tina - Your Question:
My boyfriend just diedhe never had no kids never marriedhe don't own Nothinghe gave me permission after he should diehe wants me to have the money from his checking accounthe gets a SSI check every monthhe didn't write a note saying that I could have the money from his account he only told methat he wanted me to have his money from his accountcan I get in trouble by taking it from his accountI shouldhe said he'd rather me have his money than the state

Our Response:
You should check this out with a solicitor if there was no formal Will written.
FacingBereavement - 10-Jan-17 @ 10:25 AM
Hi my mum died then my dad did few weeks later there are 5 children he left no will he owns propery and has savings but the house is full of personal possessions i dont speak to my family and there taking and selling all valuable items in house and im getting nothing i want items in the house is there anything i can do also my dad said months before if anything happened to him large amount of money is somewere in the house the family have access to the house taking everything and i believe they have got this money as ive been told with my mum not alive all assests possessions are split equily between his children can you help me
mummy2406 - 8-Jan-17 @ 7:15 AM
Lyds - Your Question:
My mum recently passed, I have 3 other siblings but they all have their own houses, I was the only one living with my mother, I have lived in the house for 3+ years. She didn't leave a will and I would like to know if the 3 other siblings would be able to claim 25% of the estate and would be able to sell their 25%'s leaving me practically homeless

Our Response:
Unfortunately if you did not co-own or jointly own the property and there is no Will, this could be the result. It might be worth speaking to a solicitor to see if there are any other options for you.
FacingBereavement - 4-Jan-17 @ 2:37 PM
My mum recently passed, i have 3 other siblings but they all have their own houses, i was the only one living with my mother, i have lived in the house for 3+ years. She didn't leave a will and i would like to know if the 3 other siblings would be able to claim 25% of the estate and would be able to sell their 25%'s leaving me practically homeless
Lyds - 3-Jan-17 @ 3:42 PM
My mum died recently and left £9,000 in a joint bank account(my younger brother) my older sister and I were told that this was left over from my fathers estate he passed 10 months previously and was to be used to pay for mums funeral expenses. My brother who is on this account says that the money is his and we have no claim to it even though he hasn't earned a penny in the past 8 years and didn't contribute to its value. What can we do
Bereaved - 2-Jan-17 @ 8:29 PM
My grandma passed away 12 years ago and she did not leave a will she lived with me my whole life and she passed away and I kept her ashes I've had them for 12 years now and now me and my aunt her daughter got into a fight and now she threatens me to take me to court for my grandmas ashes . So my question is can she her daughter take me to court her granddaughter for her ashes that I have had for 12 years now to court without a will ?
Sam - 2-Jan-17 @ 1:42 AM
My brother passed and his girlfriend wants his ashes can she received them over his family (sisters&brother)?.
One love. - 29-Dec-16 @ 3:13 PM
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Latest Comments
  • Big T
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    This is about my family my mom gave it to me she had now will saying that but the family now's what she wanted after she past away but…
    23 March 2017
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    My father purchased a property and immediately transferred 80% to me via title deed. I then cared for him for several years until I could no…
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