When a person dies without having made a will, his or her estate is shared out according to the rules of intestacy – and these laws often overlook certain individuals who were close to the deceased and/or feel entitled to a share of the estate and, as a result, may want to make an inheritance claim.
The rules of intestacy state that only the married or civil partner and immediate family of the deceased are entitled to an inheritance. And the exact amount the surviving partner inherits depends on several factors, including whether there are surviving children and grandchildren, surviving siblings or nephews or nieces, and the value of the estate.
Similarly if the individual does have a will that is not legally valid, it will be the rules of intestacy that decide how the estate will be distributed and not the wishes that the person has expressed in the invalid will.
Intestacy rules mean that there are inevitably times when the deceased’s loved ones do not inherit anything at all or inherit an unreasonable amount of the estate. For example, it may be you are divorced or your civil partnership has formally ended, you have co-habited with the deceased for years but have not married or formed a civil partnership, or you are the child of the deceased but there is a surviving partner – and an appropriate or any share of the intestate person’s belongings and property will not automatically pass to you in these circumstances.
To make an inheritance claim where there is no will, you need to meet specific criteria and to act quickly as there are strict time limits in place.
If you are considering making a claim, you are advised to speak to one of our specialist lawyers in our wills and probate team as soon as possible. Telephone our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005
t our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123, Manchester office on 0161 839 0092 or Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005.