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


The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be received as formal professional advice. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, there can be no guarantee that the information is accurate as of the date it is received, or that it will continue to be accurate in the future, due to legislative changes. It is therefore important that before you act upon any information contained herein you seek appropriate professional advice to take account of your exact circumstances.

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