Finders International discuss intestacy rules and how UK law dictates inheritance - The Stratford Observer

Finders International discuss intestacy rules and how UK law dictates inheritance

Stratford Editorial 28th Jun, 2024   0

Your loved ones may not receive what you intended them to!

In the world of inheritance law, the term “intestacy rules” holds significant implications for those who fail to make a valid will. In the United Kingdom, these rules outline what happens to an individual’s estate if they pass away without a will in place.

Understanding the nuances of these rules is crucial for individuals and families alike, as it directly impacts how assets are distributed and can lead to unexpected outcomes.

Intestacy rules in the UK are designed to provide a framework for distributing an individual’s assets in the absence of a will. However, the distribution process can be complex and may not always align with the deceased’s wishes. Simonne Llewelyn, CEO of Finders International, a leading probate genealogy firm, sheds light on the significance of understanding intestacy.

“Intestacy rules serve as a default mechanism for estate distribution, but they may not always reflect the deceased’s intentions. It’s essential for individuals to be proactive in estate planning to ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes.”

When someone dies without a will in the UK, their estate is distributed according to a set hierarchy outlined by the rules of intestacy, which can be found here. Typically, spouses or civil partners are the first to inherit, followed by children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and so on. However, the specifics can vary depending on the family structure and circumstances, making it crucial to seek legal advice to navigate the process effectively.

Simonne emphasises the importance of seeking professional guidance in such matters, stating, “The rules can be complex, and navigating them without proper assistance can lead to complications and disputes among family members. Consulting with legal experts can help ensure a smooth and fair distribution of assets.

One common misconception is that unmarried partners or cohabitants automatically inherit from their deceased partner’s estate basic rules. However, this is not the case, which can result in financial hardship and legal battles for surviving partners. Without a valid will in place, unmarried partners have no legal right to inherit under current UK intestacy law, highlighting the importance of proactive estate planning for all individuals, regardless of marital status.

In addition to the distribution of assets, intestacy rules also determine who will act as the administrator of the estate. This individual is responsible for managing the deceased’s affairs, including gathering assets, paying debts, and distributing inheritances according to the law. Without a will specifying an executor, the court will appoint an administrator, which may not align with the deceased’s preferences.

She continues, “By creating a valid will, individuals can ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes, rather than relying on intestacy rules, which may not fully reflect their intentions. It’s a proactive step that provides peace of mind and helps avoid potential conflicts among loved ones.”

It is also important to note that these rules are subject to change due to legal updates and amendments. To ensure accurate information, it’s recommended to consult legal professionals or authoritative sources specific to the current year.

Simonne’s team at Finders International specialises in locating next-of-kin when individuals pass away without leaving a valid will. You may have seen some of the team in action on BBC One daytime TV show, Heir Hunters. To find out more, visit

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