Rise of people dying intestate (without a will)

The Figures

The charity Citizens Advice has recently released their figures showing a sharp increase in the number of people phoning for advice on issues where someone has died without leaving a will (dying intestate):

YearQueries
20111,522
20121,942
20132,626
20143,500
20153,747

Many people may have heard about the problems which the administrators of Prince’s estate are currently dealing with. Numerous people are now claiming to be related to him. Earlier this month a Judge has authorised the testing of his blood to help confirm or deny the claims. It is likely that it will take many months, if not years to deal with his estate.

As is evident in Prince’s case, if you do die intestate then you lose any control you may have had to determine who will inherit your estate, or even who will be in charge of administering your estate.

There may be people who you would like to benefit (e.g. an unmarried partner, a charity you’ve supported for many years, or a helpful neighbour) who would simply not be entitled to anything.

Administering an Esate: Problems

Dying without a will also raises practical problems when it comes to administering an estate. For low value estates it is not always necessary to obtain a grant of probate, however if there is no will, then someone will have to apply for a grant of administration to be able to deal with any bank accounts.

Bearing in mind that probate fees may potentially significantly increase soon, this could add a significant fee to dealing with estates where no valid will has been found.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss making a will or dealing with an estate of a deceased who did not have a will, please give our specialist Wills, Probate & Trusts solicitors in Leeds, WakefieldBradford and Manchester a call on 0113 244 9931.