The Intestacy Rules
Where there is no will, or the will only deals with part of the estate, the distribution of the estate is governed by statutory rules covering intestate distribution. Although this scheme is designed to assist relatives who are potential beneficiaries, it may run counter to the deceased’s true intentions.
Basically the intestacy rules set the order of preference starting with the deceased’s wife and children.
If there are none then the estate is divided among parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, and aunties, in accordance with the statutory formula.
These rigid rules are unlikely to deal fairly with individual family situations, as the deceased may have preferred some family members to the exclusion of others for good reason. Moreover, there may be many deserving friends, colleagues clubs and societies which the deceased felt more deserving than some relatives who may not have been seen for years..
The problem is very simply cured by doing a simple will directing how your assets should be distributed..