My spouse recently passed away and did not leave a Will. A relative is demanding that they receive some money and I know that my partner would not want this. Can you help me?

If your spouse died without having a valid Will in place then he will be deemed to have died intestate and as such their estate will be administered according to the Intestacy Rules. These current rules state that as his surviving spouse you are the person entitled to administer your spouse’s estate and you will be entitled to receive the first £125,000 of the estate. If the estate is in excess of £125,000 and you have children together then you will be entitled to 50% life interest in the remainder while the remaining 50% of the estate will go directly to any children you have. If your children are under 18 this should be held in trust for them until they reach majority.

The situation is slightly different if you have no children as again under the current rules you would be receive a statutory legacy of £200,000 and then half of the remaining assets. If the estate is in excess of this then other members of the family may be entitled to a share however there is an order of entitlement. If a relative is demanding a share then you will need to establish the size of the estate and it is our strong advice to make an appointment to attend our office to obtain advice on how to proceed.