Total intestacy
Total intestacy

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

  • Total intestacy
  • The intestacy rules
  • Evolution of the intestacy rules
  • Total intestacy
  • Statutory legacy
  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Chattels
  • Redemption and appropriation
  • Statutory trusts for issue
  • Statutory trusts
  • more

STOP PRESS: A new fixed net sum of £270,000 has been set with effect from 6 February 2020, in accordance with Schedule 1A to the Administration of Estates Act 1925, as amended by Schedule 1 to the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014, in England and Wales. This sum is also known as the statutory legacy and represents the amount which passes to a surviving spouse or civil partner of an individual who died intestate who also left surviving issue. For further information, see: Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net Sum) Order 2020, LNB News 16/01/2020 7.

The intestacy rules

If the deceased died intestate, Parts III and IV of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) apply to:

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

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

A total intestacy occurs when all of the deceased's property is undisposed of because:

  1. the deceased did not make a Will

  2. the deceased left an invalid Will

  3. the deceased's Will may have been revoked

  4. the Will may not contain any disposition of the deceased's property

  5. the Will may be valid but fail to be effective because, for instance, the sole beneficiary predeceased the