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Change to Intestacy Rules


The Government has announced a revision to the rules that the people who administer your estate must follow if you don’t have a valid will. The Government has increased the statutory legacy from £250,000 to £270,000 for deaths from 6 Feb 2020. This is an effective 8% increase in real terms.

A statutory legacy is the amount which a surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to from the estate of a deceased spouse or civil partner in circumstances where:-

(a) There are surviving children (step-children do not qualify) and;

(b) The deceased has not made a Will

The surviving spouse/partner can now expect to receive up to £270,000 free of Inheritance Tax in addition to one half of the remainder of the deceased’s estate. Anything left over passes to the surviving children, if the children are under 18, the monies would be placed into a trust until they are of age.

Under the current rules of intestacy, if the deceased had a spouse or civil partner, but left no children, then the spouse or civil partner will inherit the entire estate. This was not always the case, under previous intestacy rules, if the estate was large enough, the blood relatives of the deceased spouse or civil partner were entitled to a share in this situation.

These changes can affect a number of people, as it is estimated that more than half of the adults in the United Kingdom pass away without a valid Will. There is no currently no provision for couples who are not married or in a civil partnership.

Anyone in that position would not be automatically entitled to anything and would have to make a claim against the estate which is costly and time consuming. So it is even more important that these couples make Wills providing for each other if that is their intention.

If you would like to make a Will or update your current Will, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Garden House.

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