The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014) came into force on 1 October 2014 and this will change the way in which your estate is distributed if you die intestate (without making a will).  The rules of intestacy govern what happens to your estate if you die without leaving a valid will.

The table below shows the key changes to the rules of intestacy and the attached flow chart goes into more detail:

Deceased dies leaving: Old rules (until 30 September 2014) New rules (from 1 October 2014)

A spouse / civil partner but no children

(parents and / or siblings survive)

Spouse / civil partner receives:

  • The first £450,000
  • Personal chattels
  • One half of the remainder of the estate
Parents receive the remaining half of the estate (or siblings if no surviving parents)

Spouse / civil partner receives whole estate. 

Parents / siblings do not receive anything
A spouse / civil partner and children

Spouse / civil partner receives:

  • The first £250,000
  • Personal chattels
  • A life interest in half of the remainder of the estate
Children receive the remaining half of the estate at 18.

Spouse receives:

  • The first £250,000
  • Personal chattels
  • Half of the estate outright
Children receive the remaining half of the estate at 18.

The new rules are easier to understand and they are more in line with the public’s expectations of how an estate is divided when someone dies without leaving a will.  However it is still important to make a will because:-

  • The intestacy rules may not be the most tax efficient manner for your estate to be administered.
  • The intestacy rules may not be suitable for your family situation.
  • If you have a partner but are not married, under the intestacy rules they do not have a right to inherit anything.  

About the author

Rachel Collett Legal Executive

Rachel works in the wills, trusts and tax team and deals with estate administration on both taxable and non-taxable estates. She also deals with registration of powers of attorney.


PDF file icon

Download PDF

Intestacy flowchart

31.9 KB | Adobe PDF

What happens if you die without making a Will after 1 October 2014