The rules of intestacy determine how a deceased person's estate is distributed if they should die without a Will. Recent changes to the rules, introduced in 2014, have simplified matters to a certain degree.
However, it remains the case that if a married person dies without a Will, the surviving spouse will receive the first £250,000 of the deceased's assets but will have to share the remainder with any children of the family. This can leave the surviving spouse in financial difficulty. The position for unmarried partners and step-children under the rule of intestacy is unchanged and remains dire. They are not catered for at all and will not benefit when there is no Will.
The only way of making sure that your true wishes are followed on your death is to make a properly drafted Will. In this way, you can determine who will administer your estate; who will act as guardians for your minor children and how your assets will be distributed. You will not be relying on rules which were originally drafted in the 1920s and which, despite recent changes, fail to deal comprehensively with the requirements of modern day families.