Don’t be misled by updated Intestacy Rules. Writing a Will is the only way to ensure your wishes are considered.
Over 31 million people in the UK run the risk of dying intestate. This means that an individual dies without making a Will and in such circumstances, their estate is distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.
The Government aims to update intestacy rules every five years and its most recent change will see an increase to the statutory legacy amount to £270,000, up from £250,000. This increase is said to be in line with the consumer price index since October 2014, when the statutory legacy was last set. The latest change is due to come into force on 6th February 2020.
The new change shall affect families where an individual dies intestate, leaving behind a spouse or civil partner and a child or children. In this scenario, the spouse/civil partner shall inherit the deceased’s assets up to the value of £270,000 (the new statutory legacy amount) together with all of their personal possessions (whatever their value). If the deceased’s estate assets are worth more than £270,000, then any excess is split 50/50 between the surviving spouse/civil partner and any children of the deceased.
Despite the increased benefit to bereaved spouses/civil partners, there remains a number of notable omissions from the order of entitlement to a Deceased’s intestate estate. You can find out who would inherit your estate if you were to die intestate by clicking on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will
Thomas Murray, who specialises in advising on Wills, states: “Individuals should not rely on the ever changing intestacy rules to carry out their wishes. The rules have a total disregard for unmarried partners, step-children, cohabitees and close friends; who are often shocked to learn that they are not entitled to anything under the intestacy rules. Writing a Will is the only way to ensure your nearest and dearest are adequately provided for.”
Simon Davis, president of the Law Society, stresses the importance of seeking expert advice when drafting a Will, saying: “Writing a legally valid Will with the help of an expert solicitor ensures people’s estate is inherited exactly as they would choose and can prevent a whole raft of problems landing on loved ones when they are grieving.”
If you would like further information or wish to discuss writing a Will, please contact Thomas on t.murray@laceyssolicitors or 01202 755980.