How to Proceed if Your Loved One Didn’t Leave a Will

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In most cases when a loved one dies, they leave their wishes on how to divide up their estate in a Will. This Will should also contain who they name as their Executor. The Executor will then need to apply for a Probate from the government so that they have the right to settle the deceased’s affairs and to execute their will to the best of their ability.

If there is no Will to execute, however, then the process becomes more complicated. Loved ones might have inheritance disputes, at which time hiring contested Wills and Probate lawyers can help you receive what you deserve from your loved one’s Estate.


What Does it Mean if Your Loved One Didn’t Leave a Will

In short, if your loved one did not leave a Will behind to dictate how their Estate was to be divvied up, then the choice is left up to the law. This means that those who should not have received anything do. A father that disappeared and abandoned his children could receive his son’s estate, as opposed to other siblings who remained and were close to the deceased.

It is always best to have a Will to execute, to ensure that those you want to leave behind your estate do receive it.

The law as to who will receive the Estate of a deceased who did not leave a Will behind, also known as intestacy or dying intestate, differ between England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. You will need to contact a layer to see if you have grounds for contesting a Will as laid out by the law.

What Steps Should You Take if They Didn’t Leave a Will

If the deceased died in intestate, then you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Apply to be the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate. This is the same as applying for Probate, except you will need to fill out a different form when applying.
  2. You will need to prove a close relationship, for example, a spouse or child.
  3. If your application was accepted, you will receive what is known as “letters of administration” which will give you the right to deal with the deceased’s estate.

There must be a legal connection between the deceased and the person who becomes their administrator. A partner who has lived with the deceased for decades, but is not married, does not have the right, for example, but a separated but still legally married spouse, does.

If you are a long-term partner of the deceased, you will need to contact Will Dispute solicitors so that you can fight the ruling and make a valid claim towards your dependency. All changes to the decision made by the government will need to be contested legally, to prove that they have a financial dependency on the deceased.


What Happens if There Are No Close Living Relatives?

If the deceased does not have a spouse or direct relatives, then the deceased’s estate will belong to the Crown or government. This is done under the law Bona Vacantia.

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