Rules of Intestacy

 

For anyone not domiciled in Spain then the laws of succession of the country where they are nationals, shall be applied. If a valid will has not been written that means that the ruled of intestacy of that country shall apply.

Below is a brief summary of some of the more important rules of intestacy in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

 

Rules of Intestacy – England & Wales

Married couples or civil partners can inherit under the rules of intestacy in England and Wales. So if a couple has divorced, the ex-spouse will not inherit although informal separations do not prohibit from inheriting.

Where an estate is valued at more than £250,000, and the deceased has left no valid will evidencing how the assets should be distributed, any spouse or civil partner inherits:

  • All the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and
  • The first £250,000 of the estate, and
  • A life interest in half of the remaining estate (the spouse or partner can benefit from that half but not sell or spend it).

A distinction should be made where any property or bank accounts were owned ‘jointly’ by the couple as in those cases the assets belonging to the deceased would automatically pass to the surviving spouse.

The couple’s children will inherit one-half of an estate over £250,000. If there is more than one child that half is shared equally.

 

Rules of Intestacy – Scotland

The rules of intestacy in Scotland are rather different to those in England & Wales and are found in the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 as amended.

Firstly, any debts owed by the deceased must be dealt with. The surviving spouse is the primary beneficiary under Scottish intestacy rules.

In Scotland the surviving spouse is entitled to what is known as ‘prior’ which means a right to any:

  • House (up to a value of £300,000)
  • Furniture (up to a value of £24,000)
  • Cash (up to a value of £42,000 if children, or £75,000 if no children)

 

Client Testimonials

Client reviews of our legal services, as uploaded by clients directly to the Wufoo survey platform:

  • Default Avatar75
    Caroline R, Barcelona
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018
    Miguel has been great!

    His English is excellent, he explains everything clearly, emails when he says he will, and is very efficient in the service he provides.

    I'd definitely recommend him to ...friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    George Salib, London
    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Jose Antonio was very professional and has assisted me in every step of the purchase of my flat in Alicante.

    He also assisted me by advising of the most suitable area according to my needs. His com...mitment and dedication is excellent.

    Jose Antonio was very easy to approach and happy to help in any way he can.

    I will definitely recommend him to my family and friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Liezl Pulido, Philippines
    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Rosa never stopped working very hard, she went way above what she needed to do...she never gave up on me and always did more than I thought anyone would.

    I am so blessed I got Rosa to help me I co...uldn't have gotten a better lawyer she's the best.

    Thank you Rosa from the bottom of my heart you are a wonderful person, I am so grateful to you.
  • Default Avatar75
    KJB, United Kingdom
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    Francisco was professional and efficient. Very good value for money.
  • Default Avatar75
    Julie Smith, Torrellano
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    I can't compliment my solicitor enough.

    From our initial meeting right through to my ultimate divorce (with no unpleasant surprises the entire duration of the entire process), he immediately respo...nded to my many enquiries, always had mine and my daughter's best interests at the forefront of any considerations and was well worth every penny of his extremely reasonable fee.

    Excellent value for money, totally approachable and very professional and understanding. I highly recommend him and will continue to retain his services for other matters in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    SH, England
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service provided. Miguel was approachable and prompt in replying.
  • Default Avatar75
    Vicky S, UK
    Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    Alvaro answered my emails and all my questions efficiently and helped me were I did not understand through the whole process of moving the tenant and selling the property and arranging and introducing... an estate agent.

    He has exceeded my expectations after being let down by previous lawyers in Spain when its been a very traumatic time for me.
  • Default Avatar75
    Pernilla, London
    Friday, April 13, 2018
    We had excellent service from Esther at Advocate Abroad when buying a property in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

    Esther speaks both Spanish and English, and is very friendly, professional and genuine. ...She took care of the whole purchasing process and explained all the steps for us, including giving advice on Spanish bank account, NIE numbers etc.

    We are very pleased with all the help we have received and can highly recommend Esther. Thank you so much!
  • Default Avatar75
    David Pratt, Alhaurin del Grande
    Friday, April 13, 2018
    Alvaro gives me confidence that he understands the issue and gives me practical solutions. He works rapidly and efficiently. I would strongly recommend his services.
  • Default Avatar75
    ESP, London
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    Cristina was extremely helpful, she couldn't have done more. Her English is sufficient and I would definitely recommend her to friend.
  • Default Avatar75
    L Marshall, London
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    Rosa was excellent. Very efficient and professional.

    Responsive and always available. Extremely helpful - we did not understand the process and she guided us through.

    We would not hesitate to ...recommend her.
  • Default Avatar75
    Phil Loughton, Las Lagunas de Mijas
    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Alvaro was extremely helpful and the simple process I needed managed was dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would certainly recommend him to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    John Burchell, Arroyo De la Miel
    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Alvaro was very professional, helpful and friendly. Understood things quickly. Explained things well in English. Very easy to contact at any time.
  • Default Avatar75
    A. Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Thursday, March 15, 2018
    Miguel provided a great service and fully explained to me about the procedures with tax & business registration. My emails and questions where always answered straight away with an immediate response ...or solution.

    Very helpful and very friendly I would definitely recommend to anyone considering using Advocate Abroad
  • Default Avatar75
    Robert Davies, Mallorca
    Monday, March 12, 2018
    Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement. Efficient, understanding and professional.
  • Default Avatar75
    A.Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Rosa was exceptional at helping me setting up my business abroad.

    This was a big move for me and Rosa fully explained everything to me in detail so I had a full and clear understanding of the lega...l side of things as well as always promptly responding to any emails or questions I had.

    I couldn’t of asked for a better lawyer and I would 100% recommend Rosa to anyone who is deciding to move abroad.

    Great service could not be happier.
  • Default Avatar75
    Adam Clark, Tenerife
    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Oliver was very professional. He explained things very clearly and honestly at all times and in the end we got the best result possible in my particular case.

    Many thanks to him for his high level ...of service.
  • Default Avatar75
    Patrick Martel, Canada
    Wednesday, March 07, 2018
    For being in another country and all our back and forth communicating over emails .. I thought Rosa did a brilliant job. Thankfully she was able to help where no one else was willing ..
  • Default Avatar75
    Robert Scott, UK
    Wednesday, March 07, 2018
    First class service. Rosa's professionalism, advice and patience were all exemplary! Keep up the good work. Will certainly recommend the service to friends!
  • Default Avatar75
    Martina, Plymouth
    Monday, March 05, 2018
    Erardo was fantastic and helped immensely during a very difficult situation.

    He consulted with my lawyer in the UK and explained to her what needed done. Without him the situation would not have be...en resolved. He was very understanding and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him. Outstanding.
  • Default Avatar75
    M Pearce, Marbella
    Monday, March 05, 2018
    Miguel was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more:

    Always kept us updated on the progress of our purchase
    Always responded to emails in a professional and timely manner
    Always explained to... our understanding all aspects of the legalities about the purchase
    Very approachable,courteous and professional

    So much better to deal with than UK property lawyers!

  • Default Avatar75
    Tony, London
    Wednesday, February 28, 2018
    The service I received from nada was very helpful.

    The tasks were completed to the highest standard and would definitely use her services again in the future. All correspondence was received in a ...very timely manner. Highly recommended.
  • Default Avatar75
    Holly, Lanzarote
    Friday, February 23, 2018
    The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
  • Default Avatar75
    Julia Alcock, Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria
    Thursday, February 22, 2018
    Esther was very friendly and approachable. She was professional and answered any questions I asked. We would definitely use her again in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Tamara Malcolm, Mallorca
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Nick Nicolaou, Oviedo
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Very Satisfied with Miguel's work. He was very helpful and we would definitely use his services again in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Gavin Jones, UK
    Monday, February 19, 2018
    It was a real pleasure to have Miguel working on my behalf to file my non-resident taxes. He was extremely helpful, gave reassuring advice and I had a high level of confidence in the transactions.

    ...Miguel is now acting as my fiscal representative in Spain and I plan to continue to use his firm's services for all my tax requirements.
  • Default Avatar75
    Martin Hickey, Benidorm
    Sunday, February 18, 2018
    Very friendly and knowledgeable and professional.

    Juan explained the plus and the negatives on various subjects and allowed us to make up our own mind.

    I have already recommended him to our fri...ends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Andrew Bullen, UK
    Friday, February 16, 2018
    Rosa was very professional at all times when dealing with me. Her English was second to none and she always kept me informed of progress via email promptly.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use Rosa in the ...future for any legal issues I have.
  • Default Avatar75
    Tamara Reeves, Australia
    Thursday, February 15, 2018
    Anna was very knowledgeable and had prior experience dealing with English clients. She spent a lot of time explaining information and I was never rushed.

    I have continued to use Anna since my firs...t meeting as I trust her judgement and know that she will look after my best interests.

‘Moveable and ‘Heritable’ Estates

After this it should be noted that Scottish rules of intestacy distinguish between a ‘moveable’ and a ‘heritable’ estate. The former relates to cash, jewelry, car, shares etc. The latter relates to property and land.

Once the prior rights have been distributed to the surviving spouse, the moveable estate is distributed as follows:

One-third to the surviving spouse or one-half if no children,

One-third to the children or one-half if no surviving spouse,

One-third to the free estate

 

The ‘free’ estate refers to that which is left after debts, prior rights and legal rights. The free estate should be distributed equally among the children or if no children then jointly to brothers and sisters and parents followed by brothers and sisters solely then parents solely…and so on down the line of succession until the Crown.

Should a husband and wife or civil partners die together in circumstances where it is not possible to determine who predeceased who, then for the purposes of intestacy in Scotland both are said to have predeceased the other when considering the rights of beneficiaries to their mutual estates. As a result each is ignored when considering the legitimate heirs to each others’ estate.

Pages: 1 2 3