Having no will on death is called Intestacy. Intestacy law, also referred to as "the law of descent and distribution" refers to the law that determines who is entitled to the assets under the rules of inheritance following the probate process.
It is important to make a will, as the Intestacy rules put in place in 1975 often are what you would wish or expect for your assets.
Don’t assume “my other half will get everything”. The Laws of Intestacy can limit the amount of your Estate avaliable to your spouse, with your children having a right to the remainder. Brothers and sisters or parents may also have a claim.
If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of - there will be argument and dispute at a time when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.
You should consider who would look after your children in the event of your death. This is particularly important in the case of one parent families or unmarried parents living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you would have wanted, the Court will decide on the future of your children, and it may not be what you or your children would have wished.
If a person dies with no Last Will and Testament and has no identifiable heirs the person's estate is assigned to the Crown via the Bona Vacantia.
The Royal Family spend the life long assets built up and not any Friends, Nominated Charities or other recipients.
If you’re the partner of the person who’s died but weren’t married to them (or in a civil partnership) you can’t apply. You’re also not automatically entitled to get any of your partner’s estate.