Intestacy Remembrall

Dying without a will is called dying intestate. You might already know that. Whether it is a familiar word or new to you, it is really important to understand the effect of dying intestate – what that means for the family members left behind: left to sort out the estate without the guidance of a will.

The Intestacy Rules are strict and set out precisely who should receive what. They often result in injustice and financial hardship – you know that the rules don’t acknowledge the existence of cohabitees and step-children but other injustice arises with the way in which  the estates are divided up amongst those who do take a share.

Remembering how the Intestacy Rules work always feels like an exam question – once you have worked out the answer, checked it three times and looked again, it is not uncommon to see that there are family members that are not going to be reasonably provided for. What happens to them? What advice do you give them?


We want to help. We have produced a simple Intestacy Guide that starts with a helpful flowchart (updated to provide for the £270,000 statutory legacy) along with some descriptive guidance and red flag warnings. The guide then suggests how family members and dependents not provided for by the intestacy rules can seek to change the effect of intestacy to remove the problem. The Guide helpfully links to our free online Claimchecker, which enables anyone who is in financial need to see if a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 is open to them!

Take a look at our Intestacy Guide and our 1975 Act Online Claimchecker (both free) The Guide is available in a downloadable pdf format so please feel free to save a copy as your own Intestacy Remembrall.

Finally, we do not want to pass on an opportunity to suggest what you already know – making a will to avoid intestacy is ALWAYS preferable – listen to Martin Holdsworth discussing this very topic on a podcast interview on Taboo Armchair Chats at


IDR Law is an approachable, boutique firm and the only one in the country dealing solely with inheritance dispute resolution. Whether you’re a law firm, or an individual who feels they would benefit from our expertise, get in touch here, email us at or call on 01423 637050.



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