Probate Question: No Will – What Happens?

Probate Question – No Will what happens?

My sister has recently passed away leaving no will. I am the youngest of 3 siblings and. My siblings have not had any contact with my deceased sister for many years, so when she died I sorted out all the funeral arrangements etc. Sadly I was only told verbally by my deceased sister, that I was to have any money left after everything was paid as my siblings did not have anything to do with her, she never married and had no children. My eldest sibling has got wind that there is money left and says that all the money is hers because she is the eldest.

Does the money get shared equally between the 3 of us or is my eldest sibling entitled to it all?

(Where there is a property involved, check out this article too.)

Probate answer – when there is No Will:

For some reason, the oldest child often gets it into their head that they automatically inherit everything. Apart from the throne, that just isn’t the case.  So just point them at the Rules of Intestacy in the next paragraph – unless there is a valid

No Last Will

Last Will and Testament which does leave everything to them.

This is where the so called “Rules of Intestacy” come in.   They are the rules which decide what should happen when there is no valid Last Will or where the Will does not cover all of the estate.   They are different in different parts of the UK and indeed overseas of course.

As your sister is not married, and has no children (otherwise her husband and children would inherit), everything goes to your parents if they are alive.  Now there just could be other claims on her estate.  Debts need to be paid, and unless you advertise appropriately, the could land on you years later.   It is also possible that your sister had supported a third party and, if effect, treated them as a dependent, so they could potentially have a claim through the Courts.  That isn’t a complete list, it is just to point out that it is easy to miss things.

If they have both died, then the estate is shared equally between her siblings, with the share and any deceased sibling leaving children being divided among those children.

I do hope you have made a Will – if not please visit our Estate Planning page, we can help, and we don’t charge a fortune!


There is a more detailed explanation of what happens when a person dies without leaving a valid Last Will and testament HERE.

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Author: Stephen Pett

My job is to ensure that we have a great team of Legal Advisers available to look after our Estate Planning and Probate Clients. Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate, IHT Planning, Trusts, Business Succession Planning - legal planning to protect you and yours.