What happens without a Will?
If there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, he or she has certain Prior Rights. In summary, these are as follows_
- House in which surviving spouse or civil partner was resident – up to £473,000
- Furniture in a. – up to £29,000
- Cash sum – £50,000 if there are issue of the deceased, otherwise £89,000
The surviving spouse or civil partner receives a share of the moveable estate, which is broadly everything apart from land and buildings. That share is one third if there are issue of the deceased, otherwise one half.
In addition, the issue of the deceased receive a share of the moveable estate. That share is one third if there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, otherwise one half.
The remainder is allocated in the following order:-
- Issue take the whole.
- Either or both parents and brothers and sisters – half to parent or parents and half to brothers and sisters.
- Brothers and sisters take the whole.
- Either or both parents take the whole.
- Surviving spouse or civil partner – surviving spouse or civil partner takes the whole.
- More remote relatives, failing which, the Crown.
Note – there is representation in all branches of succession, i.e. where any relative who would, if alive, have been entitled to succeed to the whole or any part of the intestate estate has predeceased leaving children, such children take equally among them the share which their deceased parent would have received if in life. If, however, the persons taking by representation are all in the same degree of relationship to the deceased, each individual takes an equal share.
If there is no Will, a cohabitant has no automatic right to a share of the estate. However, subject to certain stringent conditions, a claim may be made on the estate. For more detail on this, view Cohabitation avoiding the doubt
Key Contact – Allan Nicolson
Figures are correct as at 1 December 2016.