The Order of Inheritance

I am often asked what happens to a Deceased’s estate if they die without making a Will. This is called dying ‘intestate’.

The order of inheritance of an estate where the deceased has died intestate is as follows:

1. Spouse;

2. Children or if they are deceased, their issue;

How does the Family Court assess Spousal Maintenance?

Clients in divorce matters, family solicitors and readers of this article will know well that matrimonial law in England and Wales is more of an art than a science, with judges accorded a such discretion that it is impossible for lawyers to advise definitively on what an order for spousal maintenance (or periodical payments/alimony) will be at the end of a case.  So-called “Big Money” cases over the last few years have only served to muddy the waters still further. District judges in County Courts up and down the country are bound to take Court of Appeal and House of Lords/Supreme Court decisions into account when dealing with their own, rather more down to earth workload.  The fact is that you cannot extrapolate principles of general applicability from these big money cases, and use them in our day to day lives.  This is because concepts such as “Relationship Generated Disadvantage” and “Compensation”, where the housewife‘s career has been curtailed by staying at home, cannot and do not apply where there is barely enough money to go round to house one parent and the children of the marriage. 

Speculating on Future Trusts Interests – C v C

The decision of Mr. Justice Munby in C v C ([2009] EWHC 1491) on 25 June 2009 demonstrates a distinct lack of judicial enthusiasm to deal with trusts and their assets in the context of matrimonial proceedings where the party’s realisation of their interest is at some point in the “dimly visible [future]” (paragraph 63 of the judgment). Throughout this article where I refer to paragraph numbers, these relate to the judgment itself.