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Solicitor reveals what happens to a person's estate when they die without a will in the UK

A solicitor explains all of the legal outcomes if an individual passes away without leaving behind a will in the UK.

Solicitor reveals what happens to a person's estate when they die without a will in the UK
Cover Image Source: Facebook | This Morning

We have all heard of leaving behind a will, either in pop culture or when looking at legal matters. A will is a very important document as it ensures that an individual's wishes are honored after they have passed. It provides clarity on how their assets should be distributed, minimizing any chances of conflict among loved ones. Not leaving a will can be problematic and Paul Britton, who is the Managing Director of Britton and Time Solicitors, appeared on the "This Morning" show, explaining what happens to a person's assets in such a situation in the United Kingdom.

Image Source: Facebook | This Morning
Image Source: Facebook | This Morning

The short clip on Facebook, which is almost a minute long, has become quite popular, gaining 2.5 million views and 1.8K comments on the social media site. The interviewer asks him what happens if a person doesn't have a will and Britton provides a detailed explanation. He states, "So it falls under a set of rules that we call the intestacy rules. Intestacy is just a word that means you haven't testified; you haven't proclaimed where you want things to go."

Image Source: Facebook | This Morning
Image Source: Facebook | This Morning

If the individual is married, their partner will inherit exactly 322,000 pounds or approximately $413,510. Any amount over that would be equally split between the individual's partner and any children that they have. "If you don't have a partner, you don't have children, the rules get slightly more complicated, but it follows bloodline," Britton says. He continues, "So, it will either be grandchildren or go up the chain to Mum and Dad's or to grandparents." The final scenario he talks about is one where there is nobody to whom the individual can pass on their assets.


This is termed "Bona Vacantia" in legal terms, which essentially translates to "vacant possession." In this case, all of an individual's assets go to the "crown," which basically means the government. People found the video helpful and shared their opinions in the comments section. Emily Hill commented, "This just shows how important it is to make a will!" Margaret Morrow highlighted, "Everyone should make a will regardless of whether they own a home or have any savings, etc., and should also have a power of attorney in place. It makes things a lot easier when you do pass or become unable to manage your own affairs."


A few years back, Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocked everyone by naming an unexpected beneficiary in her will, as reported by the Independent. While most of the late Supreme Court Justice's estate went to her children Jane and James Ginsburg, she also added Elizabeth Salas, her housekeeper of over two decades, as an inheritor to her will. The woman got a massive sum of $40,000 for the friendship and loyalty that she gave her.


Salas is a Bolivian immigrant and had a very close bond with RBG. In fact, RBG was very well-known for putting the needs of others ahead of her own on many occasions, according to Amanda L. Tyler, a UC Berkeley law professor and mentee of Ginsburg's who co-wrote "Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life's Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union." In an interview with E! News. Tyler said, "She was always in my corner, she helped me land jobs and she was a source of great support during very difficult times."

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