i. Where there is a surviving spouse and children or other descendants, then the spouse receivesAll personal chattels A statutory legacy of £250,000 tax free Half the rest of the estate absolutely;
And the children or descendants receive the other half of the estate on statutory trusts.
ii. Where there is a surviving spouse and no children or descendants, the surviving spouse receives everything.
iii. Where there is no surviving spouse, see below for a flowchart of how the succession works in this case.
iv. Who are issue? All direct descendants, legitimate and illegitimate, adopted and natural, but not step children. Check with your solicitor for more complex rules about who is treated as a descendant when the parents are not married.
v. Divorce or end of civil partnership?
These are a bar to inheriting under the former spouse/civil partner’s intestacy, as is also a judicial separation.
vi. Statutory trusts are rules which establish how a particular category of beneficiary takes in relation to a different category of beneficiary. For example, children will take only if they reach 18 years. Also, where someone in a particular category dies leaving children, those children will all together share that deceased beneficiary’s share.