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Who inherits if I don’t have a will?

If you don’t have a will there are rules for deciding who inherits your assets, depending on your personal circumstances.

If you’re married or in a civil partnership and there are no children, your spouse or civil partner won’t automatically get everything although they will receive:

  • Personal items, such as household articles and cars, but nothing used for business purposes.
  • £450,000 free of tax – or the whole estate if it was less than £450,000.
  • Half of the rest of the estate.

The other half of the rest of the estate will be shared by the following:

  • Surviving parents.
  • If there are no surviving parents, any brothers and sisters (who shared the same two parents as the deceased) will get a share (or their children if they died while the deceased was still alive).
  • If the deceased has none of the above, the husband, wife or registered civil partner will get everything.

Different rules apply if there are children or you are not married or in a civil partnership.

It’ll take longer to sort out your affairs if you don’t have a will. This could mean extra distress for your relatives and dependants until they can draw money from your estate.

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