If you die without making a Will your assets are distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. These rules set out an order as to who has the greatest right to benefit from your Estate (everything you own at the time of death). This order is fixed and if you aren’t married, there is no provision for your assets to pass to your partner, no matter how long you had been in a relationship with them.
Instead, your Estate will pass to your closest blood relatives, which could include your children, your parents or brothers and sisters. If there are no blood relatives for your Estate to pass to, it will instead pass to the Crown.
Having a valid Will in place means that you can decide who you would like to benefit and pass your Estate onto. It also gives you much more control and means that you can divide your Estate and leave gifts to friends or charities which you might have a close relationship with.