Last Will And Testament For UK Nationals Living at Home or Abroad
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What is Intestacy Law ?   
Any person who dies without executing (making) a valid last will is known as dying INTESTATE and in that event the deceased's estate is distributed according to the Law on Intestacy. Hopefully you will already be aware of the importance of making a Last Will, so that your true wishes will be made known at the time of your death.  
Don't Delay in making that Last Will. 

The consequences?

Without a valid Last Will and Testament, obtaining Letters of Administration and appointing an administrator, can take months or sometimes even years. In the meantime your surviving spouse or partner has all the usual: household, weekly, monthly, and daily expenses to find and they will probably be on a reduced income, plus it will be at a time when they most need reassurance. Your surviving spouse or partner may not have access to money, she or he would normally have a right to, because the assets could be frozen until all the formalities have been sorted out, (someone else deciding who gets your life's assets). If you have got a valid Last Will it should take no longer than three months to obtain Probate and release your assets to the people who you chose.

Any person who dies without executing (making) a valid last Will is known as dying INTESTATE. In that event the deceased's estate is distributed according to the Law on Intestacy. By simply making a last Will you would avoid any problems that arise from intestacy. You the reader should have realized already the importance of making a Last Will, so that your true wishes shall be made known at the time of your death.  
It is important to be aware that the spouse of a deceased person who died Intestate, DOES NOT automatically inherit the whole of the estate, if the total value of the free estate passing on the death, is of substantial value. The Law prescribes what a surviving spouse can automatically receive, this is known as the Statutory legacy, and the amount is dependent on whether or not the deceased was also survived by issue and certain other relatives, again in order of strict priority.  
 
If you do not make a last Will and die Intestate, then your estate will be distributed as follows: 
                   Order of Entitlement under the Intestacy rules.

The administration of estates act 1925

Administration of estates acts provisions.

First, where there is a surviving spouse he or she takes everything unless the Intestate left certain relatives.

(a)    If the Intestate also left issue (that is children, grandchildren and remoter lineal decedents) the spouse and issue share the estate provided the issue satisfy the requirements of the statutory trusts.

(b)   If the Intestate left no surviving issue, but left a surviving parent or parents, the parent(s) and the spouse share the estate. The parent(s) take(s) the property absolutely or in equal shares. If no parent survives but the Intestate left a living brother or sister of the whole blood (or other issue) they share the assets with the spouse, provided that they satisfy the requirements of the statutory trusts.

If the Intestate left no surviving spouse, the estate is distributed as follows.

(a)    To issue on the statutory trusts, but if none then to

(b)   Parents absolutely (and equally if both are alive), but if none, then to

(c)    Brothers and sisters of the whole blood (i.e. the children of the same parents as the deceased) on the statutory trusts, but if none then to

(d)   Brothers and sisters of half blood, (i.e. those who share one parent with the deceased) on the statutory trusts, but if none then to

(e)    Grandparents absolutely (and equally if both are alive), but if none, then to

(f)     Uncles and aunts of the whole blood i.e. brothers and sisters of the whole blood of one of the parents of the deceased) on the statutory trusts, but if none then to

(g)    Uncles and aunts of the half blood (i.e. those with one parent in common with one of the parents of the deceased) on the statutory trusts, but if none then to

(h)    The Crown, Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall as “bona vacantia”

Section 46(1)(vi) of the administration of estates act 1925 gives the crown a discretion to make provisions for dependents of the Intestate whether they are related to the deceased or not. Similarly the Crown may provide for “other persons for whom the Intestate might reasonable have been expected to make provision”.

 If the Intestate died resident within the Duchy of Lancashire or in Cornwall, the Duchy or the Duke of Cornwall respectively take the assets as bona vacantia subject to the same conditions.

It should be noted that each category must be considered in the order listed above and only if there is no one in a particular category is it necessary to consider the next category. Furthermore since a blood relationship is vital under the intestacy rules, the spouse of a person within one of these categories has no right to share in the estate.

 
All of the above can take considerable time, and the costs incurred to sort it out are deducted directly from  the deceased estate, costing considerably more than it would to make your will now? and insure that your estate goes to whom you chose?
 
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Last modified: November 19, 2013

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