Dying without a valid Will is called intestacy or dying intestate.
The law about exactly who gets what is different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but there are some common problems wherever you live.
Common rules if you don’t make a Will
If you’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
If you’re married, your husband or wife may inherit most or all of your estate and your children may not get anything (except in Scotland). This is true even if you are separated but not if you’re divorced.
If you have children or grandchildren, the amount they are legally entitled to will depend on where you live in the UK, but if you make a Will you can decide this yourself.
Any Inheritance Tax that your estate has to pay may be higher than it would be if you had made a Will.
If you die with no living close relatives, your whole estate will belong to the Crown or to the government.