Intestacy: A guide to intestacy from Prestige Legal Services

Welcome to Prestige Legal Services’ dedicated page on Intestacy. Here, we aim to demystify the concept of intestacy, guide you through its implications, and offer solutions to manage or avoid it effectively.

What is Intestacy?

Intestacy occurs when a person dies without a valid Will. In such cases, their estate (which includes all the assets they owned at the time of death) is distributed according to specific legal rules, known as the rules of intestacy. These rules vary depending on your location and personal circumstances.

What Happens Under Intestacy?

When a person dies intestate, their estate is distributed to their closest relatives in a set order. This order typically prioritises spouses or civil partners and children, but can extend to other family members if these are not present. The distribution may not align with the deceased’s wishes, which can lead to unintended consequences for the surviving family members.

Avoiding Intestacy

The simplest way to avoid intestacy is by creating a valid Will. A Will allows you to specify exactly how you want your estate to be distributed and can include provisions for friends, charities, and specific bequests that the rules of intestacy would not cover.

Administering an Estate Under the Laws of Intestacy

Administering an estate under intestacy can be complex. It involves identifying all eligible relatives, valuing and distributing the estate according to the rules, and dealing with any potential claims or disputes. This process can be time-consuming and emotionally taxing, especially for families already dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Partial Intestacy: When Does It Occur?

Partial intestacy happens when a person has a valid Will, but the Will does not dispose of their entire estate. This can occur if certain assets are not included in the Will or if beneficiaries predecease the testator. In such cases, the undisposed portion of the estate is distributed according to the rules of intestacy.

Speak to Prestige for Guidance and Support

Navigating the complexities of intestacy can be challenging. At Prestige Legal Services, we provide expert guidance and support to help you understand and manage the process of intestacy. Whether you need assistance in creating a Will to avoid intestacy, or require help in administering an estate under the rules of intestacy, our team is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us for personalised advice and ensure that your estate is managed according to your wishes and the needs of your loved ones.

Intestacy Flow Chart - Prestige Legal Services

These rules are correct as at January 2024.