The statutory legacy for the surviving spouse or civil partner of people who die without making a will has increased to £270,000 from 6th February.
The legacy only applies in cases where the person who has died has children and was married or in a civil partnership.
When someone dies without a will, they are said to have died intestate. Your family will have no say in who receives your assets. The intestacy rules, which determine how a person’s estate is distributed if they haven’t made a will, give the surviving spouse assets up to the value of the statutory legacy (plus personal belongings). Any assets over the statutory legacy are divided half to the surviving spouse or civil partner and half to be divided between the deceased’s children.
The intestacy rules can lead to unexpected results in the distribution of the deceased’s estate and can lead to difficulties for the family in deciding how to deal with assets such as the family home if several people are entitled to inherit.
Couples who are not married or in a civil partnership have no automatic right to inherit from each other and cohabitees who have children together or from previous relationships can find themselves in difficulty if their partner dies and the assets pass to their children or other relatives. If cohabiting couples want to provide for each other it is essential that they make wills to reflect their wishes.
Whatever the family circumstances, making a will provides the best way to ensure your assets will be passed on in a tax efficient way and allows you to make suitable provision for those dependent on you. A will can also be used to put flexible planning in place so that assets are preserved for children or grandchildren, but still letting the surviving spouse or partner use them for the rest of their life.
For more information on intestacy, see our previous post on Rules of Intestacy, or call us on 0161 832 4666.
Bethanie Bailey - Marketing and Business Development Manager
To discuss how Glaisyers can assist you contact Bethanie Bailey on email@example.com or via 0161 832 4666.