If a person dies without having made a will, or the will that has been made is deemed invalid, the distribution of the deceased’s estate is done so under the rules of intestacy.
The intestacy rules can be complex. The way that they operate will depend on the individual circumstances of the deceased and the value of the estate that is left.
Our highly experienced Wills and Probate solicitors will be able to advise you on the rules of intestacy and who is entitled to what in the case of a death where there is no will. If you need advice regarding intestacy, please call to speak to one of our experienced wills and probate solicitors on 0333 331 4039 or email us.
Inheritance Act Claims and Deed of Variation
Depending on the value of the estate, the rules of intestacy do not automatically provide for any children of the deceased. Neither do the rules currently make any provision for unmarried partners or same sex couples outside of Civil Partnerships. Therefore, if a will has not been made, the people who are closest to the deceased at the time of their death can fail to inherit anything from the deceased’s estate.
The way that an intestate estate is distributed can be challenged through the Courts on the basis that the rules do not make reasonable financial provision for an applicant. Strict time limits apply however and any claim must usually be brought within six months of the Grant of Representation to the estate being issued. Alternatively the estate can be rearranged by consent within two years of the death by way of a deed of variation.
A deed of variation can be used to:
- Reorganise the distribution of an estate – i.e. the beneficiaries will receive a different allocation of the estate other than that governed by the rules of intestacy
- Allocate part of the estate to people who would not ordinarily inherit under the rules of intestacy
Any amendments to the allocation of the estate in this way must be agreed by all of the people who would inherit under the rules of intestacy.
Our solicitors can advise you with regard to challenging both the distribution of an estate in this way and are experienced in drafting deeds of variation and/or disclaimer.
Find out more about contentious probate and inheritance act claims: