Important Facts about the Intestacy Rules
• A civil partner is someone who was in a registered civil partnership with the deceased when he or she died. It does not include people simply living together as unmarried partners or as ‘common law husband and wife’.
• The term child includes children born in or out of wedlock and legally adopted children; it also includes adult sons and daughters. It does not, however, include step-children.
• Domicile is the country or state whose laws apply to you. Usually, this is the law of the place where you were born (your “domicile of origin”), but your domicile can change if you move to another country with the intention of staying there permanently.
Some facts that you need to be aware of
• Do not try and work out the distribution of an intestate estate yourself without legal advice sometimes family trees are much more complicated that you might think and proof of identity and blood relationships is likely to need the help of a solicitor
• If there has been a divorce or civil partnership dissolution before the date of death there is no spouse or civil partner claim under these rules, but he/she may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Please contact us for expert advice email@example.com
• Anyone who is under 18, (except a spouse or civil partner of the deceased), does not get his or her share of the estate until he or she becomes 18, or marries under that age. It must be held on trust for him or her until he or she becomes 18 or gets married.
• Apart from the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, only blood relatives, and those related by legal adoption, are entitled to share in the estate. Anyone else who is related only through marriage and not by blood (for example, a step-brother or step-sister) is not entitled to share in the estate.
• If anyone who is entitled to a share of the estate dies after the deceased but before the estate is distributed, his or her share forms part of his or her own estate and is distributed under the terms of his or her own will or intestacy.
• Great uncles and great aunts of the deceased (that is brothers and sisters of his or her grandparents) and their children are not entitled to share in the estate.
• An intestate estate is expensive to administer and the rules while much better than nothing are inflexible.
The moral of the story is do not leave the administration of your estate to chance, make a will benefit your loved one who you never married, benefit that charity whose work you applaud. Don’t let the state have your estate you know it makes sense.
Clive Harvard firstname.lastname@example.org