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What Happens If I Don’t Have A Will?

By : acelegal, November 18, 2016

Making a will is something many of us do not consider essential while we are busy enjoying our lives, but it is of vital importance if you have children or you own property, and you should ensure that you have taken proper legal advice to avoid causing problems for your family in the event of your death.

If an individual dies without making a will, the rules of intestacy will apply. This means that you and your family will not be in control of how your property is distributed, or who takes care of your children, since your wishes are not legally recorded. This is also the situation if a will is left that is not legally recognized or contains invalid sections.

Who Inherits My Property When There Is No Will?

If there is not a valid will in existence when a person dies, the rules of intestacy will be applied as follows:

  1. If there is a surviving spouse/civil partner and no children, the spouse/civil partner will inherit the whole estate (the entire property of the deceased).
  2. If there is a surviving spouse/civil partner and children, the spouse/civil partner will get 2/3 of the estate, while the remaining 1/3 will be divided equally among the children – or amongst their children, if any of the children have died.
  3. If there is no spouse/civil partner or children, both parents will inherit equally, or if only one survives the deceased, he or she will inherit everything.
  4. If there is no spouse/civil partner but there are surviving children, the estate will be divided between them equally.
  5. If only siblings survive, they will inherit equal shares of the estate.
  6. If only nieces or nephews survive the deceased, they will inherit equal shares.
  7. If none of these apply, the estate will be divided between any surviving relatives according to the nearest equal relationship.
  8. If there are no surviving relatives, the state will inherit the entire estate.

There is no provision for families to challenge the intestacy rules according to the expressed wishes of the deceased during his or her lifetime, so it is important to recognize the role of the will in making your wishes known.

Find Wills And Probate Solicitors in Cork

It couldn’t be easier to make your will and ensure that the probate process is simple and stress-free for your family in the event of your death. Simply speak to an experienced wills and probate solicitor to ensure that your wishes are recorded in a legally binding form, and that your will cannot be challenged or found invalid.

Contact Irwin, Kilcullen & Co Solicitors in Cork City for a free consultation without obligation. Simply contact us online or call us today on +021 4270934 to talk to our experienced and helpful team.