What does ‘intestate’ mean?

If a person dies without a Will, they are said to have died intestate. Under these conditions, there are very strict restrictions on who can inherit their Estate. These restrictions are known as the ‘rules of intestacy.’

Only spouses, civil partners, and certain close family members are eligible to inherit from an estate under these rules. The rules of intestacy also decide how the estate is split based on its size, whether the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, whether or not they owned property, and how many children or grandchildren they may have.

If a couple lives together but is not married or in a civil partnership, the surviving partner cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy. On the other hand, if a married couple is separated but not divorced, the surviving spouse will inherit under these even though they are no longer together.

If a will is not legally sound or is found to be invalid during the process of applying for Probate (getting permission to act on the Will), then the rules of intestacy may still apply.

It is very important to get professional advice to make certain that a will is legitimate and that, when you do pass away, your wishes are clear, and the directions in the Will can be followed exactly.

It is never easy to talk about, but it is essential not to leave it too late to look at your options and make sure you have a will in place. Doing so Will mean that your loved ones receive their proper inheritance, and an already difficult time will be made simpler and less stressful.

Capital Life can provide a full range of Will-writing and related services to ensure your loved ones avoid dealing with the rules of intestacy. Contact them today for a free inheritance planning review and find out how they can help.