What Is Intestacy?

When you die, no matter how much money you have, your estate has to be dealt with. This means that a family member or close friend must talk to the bank, disconnect all your utilities, pay of all your debts and get back any money owed.

This is called probate and this is usually triggered by finding a Will and identifying who has been named as the Executor of the estate. However, when a Will cannot be found there is nothing there to trigger this process or allocate anyone to complete this process.

This is called dying intestate and simply means dying without a Will. There can be a number of reasons for intestacy. It could be that there never was a Will; after all, statistics seem to suggest that only 30% of adults in the UK actually have a Will, so this is likely.

Alternatively, what sometimes happens is that a Will has been made, but the person who died failed to tell anyone that they had a Will or did not tell anyone where the Will was kept. Therefore, although a Will was made, the individual still died intestate as the Will could not be found.

Dying without a Will can be more difficult for your family members to deal with as there are strict laws on how an estate is shared out between the surviving family. If an individual was in a relationship but not married or in a civil partnership, they would not inherit anything through the law of intestacy even if this is not what the person who dies had intended.

It is for this very reason that making a Will is so important – leaving this to chance can have a significant impact on the people you love and leave behind.

The rules of intestacy state that if the individual was married or in a civil partnership and there were no children, they stand to inherit the whole of the estate. If there were children, the surviving spouse will inherit the estate up to the value of £250,000 and if the estate is worth more than that, this additional portion will be divided. The surviving spouse will retain an absolute interest in half of any amount over £250,000 and the other half will be divided amongst the children.

It is important to understand the impact on you and the rest of the family if a loved one dies intestate. Take advice from a specialist solicitor to help clarify your particular situation.

This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitors before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat

Solicitor

0207 183 2898

Should I Consider A DIY Divorce?

Deciding to end your marriage and get a divorce is extremely difficult, and this can be made even more difficult because of the financial impact of a divorce. The costs involved in using a solicitor can feel overwhelming and can often mean couples stay together longer due the financial constraints of divorce. The other alternative to staying together is a DIY divorce.

This involves completing the process with little or no help from a solicitor.

For many people this seems an attractive option but there are some points you should take into account before deciding if this is the right route for you.

The first and most important consideration when getting divorced is the financial split, particularly if you have been a stay at home parent, whilst your spouse has been out at work. This situation would result in you having limited earning power and probably no pension. If you were to divorce on a DIY basis, you may find that you don’t receive a fair settlement for the role you have taken in the family. Whilst the divorce is not about the money, it is about ensuring that you both leave the marriage with a share that is fair.

A DIY divorce may not be for you if your relationship has become acrimonious prior to your divorce. This is because you will not have any third parties involved and you will have to reach agreement on a number of issues such as access to the children, the sale of the house, where the children should live and many other issues.

You may decide that you would like to do some of the divorce yourself, such as completing the divorce petition and filing it with the court, but it is important to recognise the issues which you may need specialist help and advice for.

You should also be aware that this is the process in England and Wales. If you are based in Scotland or Northern Ireland the law is different and you should seek advice from an experienced solicitor in your area.

This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitors before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat

Solicitor

0207 183 2898