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What To Do When Someone Dies Without A Will

If you are landed up in a situation where you find one of your close relatives died all of a sudden and you are still under severe trauma. It takes much longer time to heal the situation. However, because of the death of the deceased, the assets and liabilities also need to be properly taken care of by the close relatives. Usually, the major asset is House of the deceased and here we will explain what to do when someone dies without a will.

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Now, when someone dies and the proper will is not in place, one needs to follow the legal procedure. Since a will is also the part of a legal procedure to establish a proper connection between the deceased and the legal heir for all the affairs of the deceased with respect to his/her asset or liabilities.

what to do when someone dies without a will

It’s a major question: Who inherits when there is no will?

When your relative dies without making a will, which means the relative has died intestate. Without a will who gets what. The properties of the deceased shall be shared as per the rules of intestacy.

  • Approach legal consultant:

How to file for executor of estate without will. The law and rules differ from one country to another country and it has evolved so much over time in all the countries. It is recommended that one should consult the lawyer before initiating all the legal procedure.Let us understand the basic rules of intestacy.Under the rules of intestacy, the properties of the deceased shall be shared amongst the very close relatives only.

  • Civil Partner or Married partners:

Under the rules of intestacy, the spouse of the deceased should approach the legal advisor and shall apply to the court of law for the appointment of the legal representative of the spouse. Being a legal representative of the spouse, he or she can deal with the affairs of the deceased including the house. The court shall issue a document in favour of spouse and children which are known as “The Grant of Representation” which makes the spouse and children entitled to the properties.It is called probate procedure. Married Partner or Civil Partner or any child of the deceased can apply for The Grant of Representation.

  • Single:

Case:  1)

If someone is single and died what happens to a house when the owner dies single without having children, the property of the deceased shall be taken over by the parents of the deceased. The reason is he or she does not have any spouse.

Case:  2)

If someone is single and died to have children, the property of the deceased shall be distributed amongst the children of the deceased. The reason is he or she is having children though does not have a spouse.

  • Grand Children:

The grandchildren can be a legal heir only in following circumstances;

  1. Any parent or grandparent of the children has died before the deceased person.
  2. The parent of the children is alive and has not even reached 18 years of age and is not married under the law.

The above two circumstances only allow access to Grandchildren in the property of the deceased person.


  • Jointly Owned Properties:

If the property is jointly owned, it becomes the simple and manageable situation. Let us understand this with a small example.

What is jointly held bank account?

The jointly held bank account is an account where the account is shared by two or more than two people. Any member of the jointly held account can access the account. i.e. can make all the banking transactions including withdrawals and deposits to the account. So all the members have joint rights and liabilities in respect of account and there is not any several right and liabilities to any particular member of the account.

Similarly, one of the owners of a jointly held house becomes the owner of the entire house in case of the house is owned only by two persons. One might be surprised to know that intestacy law does not apply to the jointly help property.If the individual dies without having any close relatives, the house and all other properties shall pass to the government of the country where the individual belongs. This is referred as bona vacantia in the United Kingdom.

  • Avoid Complications:

There are many consequences arises if an individual dies without making a will. Your spouse, children relatives will fight for a long time in your absence. That’s reality. Help your spouse, children and close relatives by making your wishes clear towards them.You love and care them while you alive, so this is one extra step of care when you are not with them. This avoids ambiguity amongst your relatives and can lead to peace of mind.

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