Children will receive their inheritance under the intestacy rules either when they attain the age of 18 or if they marry or enter in to a civil partnership before they become 18.
It should be noted that legally adopted children are considered to be blood children within the rules of intestacy however step-children would receive nothing.
When is a Will Invalid?
Additionally, as stated, even if you have executed a Will, you may still die under the intestacy rules if the Will is found to be invalid.
For a Wil to valid, there are a number of conditions which must be satisfied:
- Must be made by a person who is 18 years.
- Made voluntarily and without any pressure from a third party.
- The person making the Will must be of sound mind.
- In writing.
- Signed by the person making the Will in the presence of 2 witnesses.
- Signed by two witnesses in the presence of the person making the Will after they have signed it.
However, it should be noted that a witness or a married partner of the witness, cannot benefit from the Will. However, if the witness is a beneficiary, the Will, will still be deemed valid but they then cannot inherit.
The onus would be placed upon the person disputing the Will to prove its invalidity.
As can be seen from the information above, the intestacy rules are rather straightforward, however, they do not allow you to leave specific gifts to anyone or allow anyone outside of your family to inherit anything from the estate. Therefore, if you wish to make such requests, it is crucial to make a Will. Subsequently, should you wish to leave particular items, sums of money or even your entire estate to friends, carers, charities etc. you must ensure you draft and execute a Will.