Death Without a Will: Who Will Inherit Your Money and Properties?


Death is inevitable. You may be young and healthy now but, at some point, you will have to say goodbye to the world and all your loved ones.

However, what will happen to the wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life? Who among your family and friends will get the things you treasured when you were alive?

The Point of Having a Will

You probably already have an idea what a will is. You have seen it depicted on television and in movies, often by survivors fighting over who gets the money or the house or a piece of expensive art.

A will is a legal document that explains how you want to divide your assets among your loved ones. It can be contested but, basically, it is what stops siblings, spouses, and descendants from arguing.

Many assume that only seniors are encouraged to write a will and testament, but even if you just turned 18 and have an entire lifetime ahead of you, it would be best to talk to a lawyer who specializes in family and estate law like Just Wills and Legal Services. You can make amendments any time you want, but you should review your will every five years or whenever there are major changes in your life such as a divorce or the birth of a child or grandchild.

Dying Without a Will: Who Gets What?

Death happens, often without any sign or warning. No one is safe: anyone can be taken away at any time, young or old.

However, not a lot of people in the United Kingdom is ready for their death. A previous survey found that only two-thirds of adults has written a will. While they know that it is important, many said that they have not prepared a will simply because they “never got around to it.”

A person who dies without a will is called an intestate. Under intestacy rules, only married or civil partners and some close relatives can inherit the intestate’s assets. Wealth will be divided among your loved ones based on intestacy rules which can create a rift among heirs. Usually, the spouse or the registered civil partner will get the biggest chunk of the possessions the intestate left behind.

If Single

If the intestate dies without a spouse or a civil partner, then the wealth will go to surviving children. If they do not have children, the parents, if both alive, will get equal shares. If the parents have long passed, then their siblings will inherit the possessions left behind.

The estate may go to the Crown if the intestate did not have any surviving children, parent, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or nieces and nephews.

If Unmarried Partners

Talking it over

Unfortunately, partners will not automatically inherit the deceased’s possession if they were not married or registered as civil partners. A will is necessary for unmarried or unregistered partners to receive their part of a person’s assets.

Although it might not feel pleasant to think about and prepare for your own death, it is necessary that you do it as soon as possible to protect your wealth when you die and make sure that those you care about receives a generous portion of it.

Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to know what you would need to write a legally binding last will and testament.

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