The Rules Of Intestacy- Who Inherits?

lawyer at his desk

Inheritance law is old; everything parliamentary declares how the sovereignty of the monarchy should be passed down to avoid civil war. The rules of intestacy have been on the statut book for centuries, and there have not been static updates made to the ownership rights around women, children born out of wedlock, adopted children and same sex spouses, which have all resulted in necessary updates, well known to a probate solicitor Emsworth.

The rules of inheritance have always and probably always will be superseded by the last will and testament of the deceased. But in the event that no will is available or that the will that is available is considered invalid, the next of kin must be determined, and the individual who has passed is legally called the intestate.

Spouses and civil partners

The first and most simple line of inheritance comes via marriage proceedings and civil partnerships. This can be made even more trivial by the use of shared assets, shared bank accounts, multiple names on mortgages or property deeds allows the transfer of ownership immediately to the surviving member when a death certificate is produced. If all of the deceased assets are under shared ownership, this would allow the entire estate to be divided without even having to go through probate.

The drawback of inheritance via marriage is that relationships that have broken down, perhaps from decades ago, between parties who may not wish their assets to be granted to a partner who they see has a ”ex ” are just as entitled as a loving relationship. There is no legal distinction between a happy marriage or civil partnership and an unofficially estranged one.

pre-nuptial agreement

If you have been formally divorced or your civil partnership dissolved there is no right of inheritance at all.

Long term cohabiting partners who may inappropriately call themselves “common-law” wedded have no protection when it comes to inheritance and are legally irrelevant.

If the total value of the estate exceeds £270,000 all surviving children are entitled to half of the estate, plus, half of anything remaining over £270,000. This is divided equally among all biologically related children, not those who have been formally legally adopted or step children but whether or not the children were born within wedlock is considered legally irrelevant.

In the event that there are no living children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren the entire estate will be inherited by the spouse. The inheritance granted to children under the age of 18 will be held by a trustee on their behalf until 18 or engaged in a civil partnership or marriage.

Relations by marriage, close friends and carers for inheritance under intestacy also do not count legally. Whenever an estate is left with no surviving relatives, it is passed to the crown; this is referred to as Bona Vacantia and the government Treasury Solicitor will be made responsible with managing the estate. It can issue grants from the estate to anybody it chooses. This is an opportunity for those who feel they have a right to the assets to plead their case. You should do this with the support of a probate solicitor Emsworth. If grants are released from the estate; they may not be in a lump sum; they may be in the form of cash or property deeds.

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