A British National living at home or abroad?
A British National living at home or abroad with a Non Domiciled Spouse?
A Non Domiciled UK Resident with assets in the UK (with or without a spouse)?
A Non Domiciled Non UK Resident with UK Assets?
What happens without a Will?
Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have made a valid Will, your property will pass according to the Law of Intestacy. This will almost certainly not be what you would have wanted, and absolutely not what any surviving spouse and children would want. In any event it is likely to take longer to get a Grant of Probate and thus delay distribution of your estate to your beneficiaries; this can mean arguments and distress.
In leaving a valid Will, its effective provisions will be implemented. To the extent that your estate is not disposed of by a valid Will, your estates distribution is governed by the rules in Part IV of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (as amended).
Intestacy: What is it?
Intestacy occurs where:
Someone dies without having effectively disposed of any of their property by Will
Where there is a valid Will that does not dispose of the whole estate. This can occur where the Will contains no residuary gift or where the gift of residue has wholly or partly failed.
Entitlement: Who gets what?
Property passing outside the Will and Intestacy rules but forming part of the deceased’s estate for Inheritance Tax purposes relates to Jointly Owned Property, Trust Policies and Pension Scheme benefits(provided a suitable nomination has been made).
A spouse or civil partner who survives the intestate by 28 days takes everything, unless:
Where there is a Surviving Spouse or Civil Partner alone, then.
- (There is no entitlement for a divorced spouse or civil partner or one who is judicially separated).
- Where there are no issue, parents or brothers and sisters of the whole blood (or their issue) the Personal Representatives hold the whole of the residuary estate for the surviving spouse absolutely.
Where there are issue i.e. children, grandchildren etc, then.
- The personal chattels absolutely
- A statutory legacy of £250,000, free of tax and costs, with interest from the time of death until payment.
- A lifetime interest in one half of the residuary estate.
Where there is no issue, but certain close relatives, then:
- The personal chattels absolutely
- A statutory legacy of £450,000 free of tax and costs and with interest from the time of death until payment.
- One half of the residuary estate (i.e. the capital absolutely)
Where there is no Surviving Spouse, Civil Partner or Issue, then.
If there is no surviving spouse or issue then the order of entitlement to share the estate passes to the blood relatives only, (excluding those only related by marriage).
And if none……
In the event of an intestate individual not being survived by a spouse, civil partner or by any qualifying relatives to share in the estate, then the residuary estate passes to the Crown.
A properly constructed and valid Will is the only document which can ensure that your assets will be passed on to the people that you decide deserve to have them!
Food for thought
- If you are Single – Do you want your estate to be divided amongst your family, friends and relatives or will you be happy to let the courts decide who gets what?
- If you are Married – Are you assuming “my other half will get everything” because they may not?
- If you are a Parent – Do you want the Courts to decide your children’s future – including who will look after them?
- If you are retired – Do you really want HMRC as a potential beneficiary?
International Wills are for Non UK Domiciled, Non UK Residents who have no UK assets.
For this class of person who have complicated personal and business circumstances that require the use of specialist legal and offshore trusts work, prices and referrals are available upon application.