3.If there are no
children but there are parents, brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces,
then the spouse takes the personal chattels plus £200,000 plus half the
other half of the residue is given in order to either:
a) parent(s) or
if they are dead then to
b) brothers and
sisters or if they are dead then to nephews and nieces
4.If there is no
surviving spouse then everything is taken by:
a) children but if none
b) parents but if none
c) brother, sisters or
nephews and nieces
d) grandparents but if
none then by
e) uncles, aunts or
cousins - but if none then by
f) The Crown
Can you see any problems
with the above arrangements? Do you know anyone who would be pleased to
have their property disposed of according to one of the above formulae.?
There are so many well
documented cases of extreme hardship and difficulty resulting from
people dying intestate.
Effects of Intestacy
and Mrs Williams were both aged 55. They had a son aged 23 and a
married daughter of 27. Mr Williams had recently inherited a house
from his mother and had sold this for £80,000; He had invested half
this money in shares and the other half was on deposit in the Building
Williams died unexpectedly without leaving a Will. He had been
expecting to retire within the next few years and had built up £93,000
in his pension fund - he was also insured for a death in service
benefit of 4 times his salary. He was earning £24,000 at the time.
Fortunately, Mr and Mrs Williams had paid off their mortgage and their
house was in joint names.
Excluding the house and personal chattels, Mr Williams left an estate
of £269,000. Because there was no Will, Mrs Williams was allowed
£125,000 absolutely. Of the remaining £144,000, Mrs Williams was
entitled to £72,000 to provide an income - but she is not allowed to
spend any of this capital - she has to pass this on to her son and
other £72,000 should be divided between the son and daughter. Mrs
Williams daughter and son-in-law were running their own business; within
15 months of Mr Williams death, their business ran into trouble
accumulating large debts. The daughter's inheritance of £36,000 was
counted among their assets and she had no option but to take this sum of
money out of the family funds .........
The story above is fairly
typical. Probably, Mr Williams would have wanted his wife to have full
unrestricted access to his estate. Mrs Williams is now much less
comfortably provided for than she would have been if Mr Williams had
written a straightforward Will. But there are many worse examples.
If the house is not in
joint names or if the estate is not passing between husband and wife
then it frequently occurs that the family home has to be sold to meet
the requirements of the Intestacy Rules.