If you die without making a valid will you will be said to have died intestate. This means that there are special rules which will then decide who inherits your estate.
At present under the Intestacy rules if your estate is worth less than £270,000, and you have a surviving spouse or civil partner they will inherit your entire estate.
Similarly, if you have a surviving spouse or civil partner but no children then they will inherit the rest of your estate also if it is more than £270,000.
However, if you have a spouse or civil partner and children then your spouse or civil partner will inherit the first £270,000 of your assets and all of your personal possessions and the rest is divided as follows: -Half of the rest of your estate to your spouse and the other half to your children. Children in this context includes legally adopted but not stepchildren. If any of the children are under 18 then their share will be held on a statutory trust, and this means that they will not inherit their share of your estate until they reach 18.
Administrators will be appointed to deal with your estate and not necessarily someone you trust and have chosen to carry out your last wishes.
To make matters worse if you are not married and have no Will then your partner will not inherit any of your estate.
So, you can see how important it is that you consider these facts and protect your loved ones and family by making a Will in your lifetime so that your estate passes to who you want and not by a set of rules.