What happens if I die without making a will?

Dying without a Will is known as dying intestate. Without a Will, you have no say in what happens after your death. Instead, your estate – the sum total of all your assets – will be divided as set out under the Intestacy Rules and this will often not be as you would expect or want. If you have children or dependents, you have no guarantee that they will be looked after by the people you wish to be their guardians – indeed parental responsibility will vest with the Local Authority in the first instance and there is a chance that individuals who you wanted to receive some inheritance from you would receive nothing – meaning that there is a chance your children could go into foster care.

Importantly, if you have no close family members then dying intestate is deeply problematic. This is because all of your estate passes to the government, as the rules of intestacy limit inheritance to direct family members, or legally recognised partners in marriage or a civil partnership. This means that even if you wanted to leave your money to a your unmarried partner specific charity, friend, or even a carer, then you will not be able to do so.

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