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Laws of Intestacy - Northern Ireland

Dying without leaving a Will could mean...

In the absence of a signed Will the government dictates who gets what of your estate, depending on your domestic circumstances.  From 1st January 2008 the rules are:

Married with Children (separated people are treated under these rules as still being married)

1) Your spouse gets: 
    a) car and house contents, plus 
    b) first £250,000 of your estate, plus 
    c) if only one child or their issue survives - one half of any surplus
    d) if more than one child or their issue survives - one third of any surplus

2) Your children (stepchildren get nothing) get: 

    The remainder of any surplus (subject to 1c or 1d above)


Married with No Children but with Parents and/or Brothers and Sisters (whether of the whole or half-blood) or the issue of a deceased brother or sister


1) Your spouse gets: 

   a) car and house contents, plus 
   b) first £450,000 of your estate, plus 
   c) half of any excess over £450,000 outright

2) Your parents or (if none alive) your brothers and sisters (whether of the whole or half-blood) or the issue of a deceased brother or sister get: 
   a) Balance i.e. half of any excess over £450,000 outright


Married with No Children and No Parents or Brothers and Sisters
(whether of the whole or half-blood) or the issue of a deceased brother or sister
Your spouse gets everything


Single, Widowed or Divorced (but not separated)


Everything goes to your children (if any), otherwise to your parents (if alive), otherwise to your brothers and sisters (whether of the whole or half-blood or their children), otherwise your grandparents (if alive), otherwise your uncles and aunts (or their children), otherwise to the government!

*the rules above are subject to change

For further information visit HM Revenue & Customs

Applying for probate in Northern Ireland?

If you are an executor of someone's will you may need a legal document called a 'grant of probate' to enable you to sort out the deceased person's affairs. If there is no will, a close relative can apply for a 'grant of letters of administration'

Contact Details for probate registries in Northern Ireland
Belfast (Principal Registry):

The Probate Office
2nd Floor, Royal Courts of Justice
Chichester Street
Belfast BT1 3JF
TEL: 028 9072 4678

Derry / Londonderry (District Registry)

The Courthouse
Bishop Street
Londonderry BT48 6PQ
Tel: 028 7126 1832

 

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