If you die without having a valid Will, your estate is distributed in accordance with Intestacy rules.
The following provides a brief guide, not an exhaustive summary of intestacy law and applies to permanent residents of England and Wales. Intestacy rules are different for residents of Scotland and your nearest Skipton branch can provide you with information explaining the Scottish rules. Or you can phone us on 0345 607 9711 to find out more.
Are you Married or in a Civil Partnership?
If you have children, your spouse/civil partner will receive personal possessions - the first £270,000, together with interest on that amount from the date of death, and one half of anything that remains. Your children will receive the other half of anything that remains. If any of your children die before you then their share will pass to their children (if they have any).
To demonstrate this, let's look at an example. Say your estate is worth £500,000, your spouse/civil partner would inherit £385,000 (this is the first £270,000, plus half of whats left, which is £115,000). And your children would inherit the other half of what's left - £115,000.
If you don't have children, your spouse/civil partner will inherit everything. In this example that would be £500,000.
Continue to next step
Do you have children?
Are your parents still alive?
Do you have any brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces living?
Are your grandparents still alive?
Do you have any aunts or uncles?
- This flow-chart applies only to people living in England or Wales at the time of death. It is intended as a brief guide, not a definitive summary of Intestacy law. For example, it does not cover half-blood relationships. It is based on our understanding of the law at May 2020.
- Members of younger generations are entitled to inherit their parent’s share if the parent has already passed away.
- The term ‘children’ includes illegitimate and adopted children but not step-children (unless legally adopted).
- 'Personal possessions’ is defined by law and means tangible moveable property not consisting of money, business assets or investments.
- Joint property generally passes to the surviving joint holder, independently of the intestacy rules, but this is not always the case.
- If your spouse/civil partner dies either before or within 28 days of you then your answer to the first question should be ‘no’.
- You remain married/in a civil partnership until decree absolute is granted.