Without a Will, you die "Intestate'' at which point your estate will be administered in accordance with the laws of intestacy rather than as you may have intended.
The first person likely to benefit from your estate is a spouse, or civil partner, but they will not necessarily inherit the whole of your estate. The amount they inherit depends on which direct relatives survive you and what your estate amounts to financially.
In basic terms, if the net value of your estate is no more than £125,000, everything should go to your spouse, or civil partner. If it is over that amount, the first £100,000 plus any personal possessions should go to your spouse, or civil partner.
However, the intestacy rules may not work in accordance with your wishes if they don't allow for your particular situation. Here's just a few examples of the sort of things that the normal rules of intestacy don't allow for:
Life is never simple, which is why it is so important that your specific circumstances and wishes are catered for in a legally valid Will.
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Why You Should Write a Will | The Laws of Intestacy (or what happens if you die without a will) | Inheritance Tax | Signing a Will | Executors and Guardians | Trusts and Trustees | Single and Double Wills