The existence of a will dictates what will happen to the testator’s property on death. If a person dies with a will in place, the deceased’s estate will be distributed in accordance with the terms of that will.
If a person dies intestate (i.e. without a (valid) will), the estate will pass in accordance with the intestacy provisions, which are a set of statutory rules. Without a will, spouses may not automatically inherit all of the deceased’s estate; any children will automatically receive their share at 18 years; and unmarried partners will not receive anything.
It is important to have your will drafted as soon as your able: a will is not valid if it has been drawn up when the testator no longer has his/her mental faculties.
Back to Wills & Probate