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When a loved one dies without a Will, it can be an emotional time for family and friends and can often be confusing as to how their estate will be distributed. Fortunately, the distribution of an estate without a Will is governed by the rules of intestacy.
Despite the rules of intestacy, family members of the deceased person often have their own opinions on what they believe should happen to the estate, particularly who should inherit and the amount. Unfortunately, these matters can often cause disputes between family members.
Our solicitors have assisted all types of clients to navigate through one of life’s most devastating experiences, the passing of a loved one. We understand how difficult it can be to lose a family member or friend, and for this reason, our solicitors offer close personal support and empathy when assisting clients through all aspects of dying without a Will.
If you are experiencing a contentious probate matter relating to your loved one dying without a Will, our private client solicitors always aim to find a resolution that is amicable and handled outside of a court room, helping to reduce time, cost and additional stress. The team have in-depth knowledge and experience in all types of out-of-court approaches, including private negotiation and mediation.
Sometimes court is unavoidable, but should your matter require assistance from the court, our solicitors will be there each step of the way, from court preparation through to representing you during the hearing. We have helped many clients obtain the outcome they desire.
Our dying without a Will solicitors can assist with matters such as:
Many people are unsure of what happens to a person’s estate if they die without a Will, such as who will inherit the deceased’s fortune.
An individual dying without having a Will in place occurs quite frequently, and for this reason, there are strict inheritance laws, known as the rules of intestacy. These rules set out who is entitled to inherit and the amount they are set to receive. The exact intestacy rules are set out in section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925, which was amended by the Inheritance and Trustees‘ Powers Act 2014.
If someone dies without having a valid Will, they are referred to as an intestate person.
When a person dies intestate, the distribution of their estate will fall under the intestacy rules, meaning only a number of certain individuals will be eligible to inherit, and this is only spouses, civil partners, children (including adopted children and adopted stepchildren), grandchildren, great grandchildren and other close relatives of the deceased.
This can cause considerable issues if the deceased was not married or in a civil relationship with their partner or had not adopted their stepchild.
First and foremost, when a person dies without a Will, their final wishes may not be respected, those who they wished to inherit their estate might not.
Another problem that arises when someone dies intestate, and they were not married or in a civil partnership, is that they will have no legal right to inherit from the estate. However, they could be eligible to claim financial provision from the estate if they relied on the deceased person financially. The same applies to stepchildren who were not adopted by the deceased.
Another issue that can occur with dying intestate is not being able to reduce the amount of inheritance tax the estate owes. Any estate that is valued over the £325,000 threshold will have to pay 40% inheritance tax for anything above. Whereas when you write a Will, it is possible to reduce the amount of inheritance tax due.
If someone dies without having a Will, it won’t be a grant of probate that the administrators need to apply for. The individual who has been appointed the administrator of the estate will instead need to apply for a grant of letters of administration. Effectively, the two mean the same thing but have different names depending on whether the deceased person had a valid Will or not.
Dying intestate means an administrator will handle the estate administration instead of an executor. The administrator of the estate is responsible for applying for the grant of letters of administration, but only limited individuals can be appointed as the administrator. This person will need to be a relative of the deceased and will need to apply to the Probate Registry.
When you choose to work with the Glanvilles’ friendly and proficient solicitors, we will take the time to fully understand your position and other important circumstances. This allows us to provide carefully crafted advice to support you during this time, whether it’s assistance applying for the grant of letters of administration, support with administrating the estate or with contentious probate.
The team have helped various clients over the years, taking the time to listen, sympathise and provide carefully crafted advice on the available options to overcome your intestate person issues.
At Glanvilles, our private client solicitors understand how difficult it can be when a loved one passes away, and especially if they have died without writing a Will. These circumstances can often cause disagreements and upset between family members. Our solicitors are here to take the stress away and quickly resolve matters, helping to maintain relationships between family.
Our clients can have absolute confidence in the service our solicitors at Glanvilles deliver. We have received the Law Society Lexcel accreditation, which reflects our ability to provide top-quality client care and management of our practice. Furthermore, we have received the Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme, which acknowledges our exceptional service and high standard in all aspects of Wills and estate administration.
At Glanvilles, we take pride in the number of professional memberships our private client team hold, including Partners Marie Callaway and Sonia Green and consultant James Melrose being members of the Law Society’s Probate Section. Sonia is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
When you use our private client service, we promise: