Entitlement on an intestacy

The following Wills & Probate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Entitlement on an intestacy
  • The intestacy rules
  • Enquiries
  • Reasons for total intestacy
  • Reasons for partial intestacy
  • Ascertainment of residuary estate
  • The statutory trust
  • Personal representatives' duties
  • PRs and payments to the wrong party
  • Entitlement under the intestacy rules
  • More...

Entitlement on an intestacy

The intestacy rules

If the deceased died totally or partially intestate, either because they did not leave a valid or effective Will or parts of their Will are invalid or ineffective, Parts III and IV of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) apply to:

  1. all the deceased’s movable property wherever situated, provided the intestate was domiciled in England and Wales, and

  2. all the deceased’s immovable property in England or Wales, whether the deceased was domiciled there or elsewhere


A thorough search should be made to ascertain if the deceased made a Will.

If no Will is found, enquiries should be made of the deceased’s next of kin and any known advisers that the deceased had instructed in their lifetime in relation to estate planning to ascertain whether a Will was made and lost. See Practice Note: Obtaining the Will.

Reasons for total intestacy

There is no statutory definition of intestacy.

A total intestacy occurs when none of the deceased’s property is disposed of because:

  1. the deceased did not make a Will

  2. the Will was ineffective

  3. the Will was revoked, either expressly or by operation of law, or

  4. all the beneficiaries named in the Will predeceased the testator

Reasons for partial intestacy

A partial intestacy arises where the Will did not dispose of all of the deceased’s estate. The part of the estate not dealt with by the

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