A death intestate occurs when an individual passes away and leaves an estate without any legal will. This means that there is no legal document directing the distribution and inheritance of the estate. A death intestate is a bad situation for the family of the deceased, as the process of administrating the estate will take some time and there is no guarantee that the assets will be divided up in a manner according to the interests of the family and the wishes of the deceased.
Negative factors of a death intestate can include:
- A long period of time to acquire Letters of Administration, appoint the administrators and set the process in motion. This can take months or even years, leaving family and potential beneficiaries without access to resources and assets during this time – especially bad for a spouse or civil partner who relies on part the deceased's assets.
- Costs of the intestate process are likely to be paid out of the estate.
- The estate is divided up according to regulations and procedure, not according to what the deceased might have desired when it comes to handing out the inheritance.
A death intestate can be easily avoided simply by making a legal will, and the costs of doing so are likely to be far less than those of dying intestate, as well as saving your loved ones a great deal of grief and stress in dealing with the intestate situation. A death intestate is also potentially very inefficient when it comes to avoiding inheritance tax, especially as you have no control over how the inheritance is distributed after your death if you have not made a will, and this tax can seriously reduce the value of the legacy you are leaving behind.
For advice on avoiding death intestate and paying too much inheritance tax, fill out our online form for a free first consultation with professional UK financial consultants.