Brian and Sky, explaining how their Probate Case Manager helped them following the death of Sky's parents
Probate without a will
If you die without a valid Will, the law will determine who should receive everything you own, from your bank accounts to your pets.
Dealing with probate where there is no Will
When an adult person has died in England or Wales, their assets such as their property, money, financial affairs and possessions must be liquidated (sold) or transferred, their liabilities settled and the balance paid to their beneficiaries. This is known as Administering the Estate.
When someone dies without having a valid Will, this is known as dying Intestate. In this situation, and also if there are no beneficiaries stated in a valid Will, the people who benefit from the Estate are determined by laws commonly referred to as the Rules of Intestacy.
Put simply, this means that if you die without a valid Will, the law will determine who should receive everything you own, from your bank accounts to your pets. For more details see Rules of Intestacy explained.
Intestacy rules can be harsh, as they often don’t allow for modern family relationships. They only recognise the next-of-kin as those people entitled to administer and receive the Estate, so in many Probate cases when there is no Will unmarried couples, unregistered partners, step children, step brothers and sisters will not inherit anything at all.
When Probate without a Will is required, an application must be made to the Court before the legal administration of the Estate can begin.
The Intestacy Rules determine who will benefit from an Estate. This can be an involved and complex process, as the family tree will need to be very clearly understood.
Due to the complexities of Intestacy law, cases of Probate with no valid Will can have a greater risk of mistakes being made in the identification of the Estate administrators and beneficiaries. Estate administrators can be held personally financially liable for any loss resulting from a breach of their duty, even if any mistakes made were genuine errors.
We suggest that no Will Probate cases are usually best dealt with by specialist Probate Solicitors.
Specialist probate solicitors
Co-op Legal Services has been named as Probate Provider of the Year 2018 and is the largest provider of Probate and Estate Administration services in England and Wales. We are trusted to deal with over £1.3 billion in Estates annually.
Our award winning Probate team includes over 170 staff of specialist Probate Solicitors, Lawyers, Case Handlers, Advisors and our national network of Probate Consultants; all of whom only deal with Probate.
Many of our Probate Solicitors, Lawyers and Case Handlers are members of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP). All STEP members are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them at all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community.
Probate Solicitors and Local Probate Consultants are available in England and Wales only for customers using our Probate Complete Service.