What Happens if you die without a Will
If you die and you have not made a Will or have not made a valid Will, you will be said to have died “intestate” and the law steps in. Your assets when you die intestate will be distributed to your surviving relatives in accordance with the rules of intestacy as set out in the Succession Act, 1965. It is important to note that the rules of intestacy are a strict set of rules where there is no provision to take into account a person's wishes. This can result in certain people not being provided for e.g. no provision for cohabitees. It highlights again the importance of making a Will.
Rules of Intestacy: who benefits and who administers?
If you are survived by:
- A spouse but no children (or grandchildren): your spouse is entitled to your entire estate and entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your Estate.
- A spouse and children: your spouse gets two-thirds of your entire Estate and the remaining one-third is divided in equal share between your children. If one of your children has died, then the share of that child goes to their children. Your spouse firstly, then your children (over the age of 18 years) are entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your estate.
- Children, but no spouse: your entire estate is divided in equal shares among your children (or their children as set out in the previous point above) and each child (over the age of 18) is entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your estate.
- Civil partner but no children: your civil partner is entitled to your entire Estate.
- Civil partner and children: your civil partner gets two-thirds of your Estate and the remaining one-third of your Estate is divided in equal share between your children.
- Parents, but no spouse/civil partner and no children: your estate is divided in equal shares between your parents (or if only one parent survives the Estate is left entirely to the one parent). Both or one of your parents is entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your estate.
- Brothers and sisters only: your estate is shared equally among them, with the children of a deceased brother or sister taking his/her share. One or all of your brothers/sisters are entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your estate.
- Nieces and nephews only: your estate is divided equally among those surviving. One or all of your nieces and nephews are entitled to apply to be the administrator/administratix of your estate.
- Other relatives only: your estate is divided equally between the nearest equal relatives.
- No relatives: your estate goes to the State.
Also where a Will does not dispose of all your assets and where there is no residuary clause, the result could be partial intestacy and that assets not dealt with in your Will, would be distributed according to the rules of intestacy as set out above. This also highlights the importance of having a residuary clause in your Will, as it acts as an all embracing clause that will cover future assets acquired by you after having made your Will.
Request a Call Back or contact us directly and one of our team will discuss your Will or Estate and how we can assist you.