If you don’t make a will, you will die ‘intestate’ and your estate may not go to the people you want. There are special rules for how your estate will be distributed these are called intestacy rules.
If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership
Your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership but have children
Your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die and it will pass to your children.
If you have a spouse or civil partner and children
Your spouse or civil partner will inherit all your personal possessions and at least the first £250,000 of your estate, plus half the rest. Your children will then be entitled to the other half of the balance.
If you have a spouse or civil partner but don’t have children
Your spouse or civil partner will inherit your whole estate. This includes your personal possessions.
If you have children and your spouse or partner is deceased
Your children will inherit everything, divided equally between them.
If you have no partner or children
Then parents, brothers, sisters, and nieces and nephews may inherit your estate.
Ultimately, if you die without a legally valid Will the government will decide who gets what. If you have no living family members, all your property and possessions will go to the Crown.
If you have children under 18 years old, other people can make decisions about who will take care of the children and manage their finances and education.