What happens if I die without a Will?

New rules are now in place that change the way in which relatives inherit assets from someone who has died without a Will.

Unmarried Couples

There is still no provision for ‘common law’ partners – even those who have children with the deceased. The only way non married partners can inherit each other’s Estate is to make a Will.

Married couples / civil partners with NO children

Married spouses are now entitled to the whole Estate if their husband/wife dies without a Will and they have no children.

Married couples / civil partners WITH children

The surviving spouse receives the first £250,000 of the Estate and any personal belongings. They are then entitled to 50% of the rest of the Estate - the remaining 50% goes to the deceased’s children.

Adopted Children

A child of the deceased will inherit even if they are subsequently adopted. Previously there was a risk that they would not.

If a person has no surviving children or direct descendants

The estate will be inherited in this order:

  • Parents
  • Whole blood brothers and sisters, or their children if they have not survived
  • Half blood brothers and sisters, or their children if there is no surviving parent
  • Grandparents
  • Whole blood uncles and aunts, or their children
  • Half-blood uncles and aunts, or their children
  • The crown

Do you have a will?

Writing a will ensures that the people you would like to benefit actually do so. Find out more about Wills here.

Give us a call to discuss how we can help you put one in place.

Call us on 0161 476 8276 or email

Reviewed 12th December 2018

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