Use the list below to see some of the problems that might affect your situation without a valid will in place then ask yourself how it might apply to your situation?
You give up the right to decide what happens to everything you own if you do not have a will. Instead the intestacy rules apply and you will also have no say over who is appointed to distribute your property under these rules.
Will is not valid
None of your wishes may end up being carried out if your will is made without using a solicitor who has ensured it is legally valid. Instead either an older will or the intestacy rules are likely to be applied.
Your partner may get nothing under the intestacy rules if you and your partner are not married or not in a registered civil partnership. This applies however long you have been together. This may force them to bring a legal challenge.
Separated not divorced
Your ex-partner may get everything, with nothing left for the rest of your family. This can happen under the intestacy rules if you had been married or in a civil partnership and have separated but not divorced or had a judicial separation.
Home over £250k
If you have children, the family home may have to be sold rather than be left for your family to live in it. This can happen under the intestacy rules if your home is part of your estate and is worth more than £250,000 (after mortgage). It is then worth more than your husband/wife/civil partner is allowed to receive under these rules.
Key people left out
Your friends and your favourite charity don’t get anything. Even your children and grandchildren may get nothing under the intestacy rules.
Legal problems for family
There can be huge legal problems for your family. With no valid will, those left out may need to take legal action to apply for financial provision. Sometimes without legal action the intestacy rules can even mean your assets go to the government (‘the Crown’).