On 6 February, the UK government announced a key change to the rules of intestacy, that will benefit spouses and civil partners in England and Wales.
The rules of intestacy apply when someone dies without a valid Will in place and determine which family members stand to inherit.
If you pass away having not had any children but having had a spouse or civil partner then the spouse or civil partner inherits everything. If, however, you have children then your estate and possessions are divided up a little differently.
Previously, the spouse or civil partner would receive £250,000 and the remainder would be split so that 50 per cent passes to the spouse and the other 50 per cent to the children, on reaching 18. Personal possessions would also pass to the spouse.
Now, the latest change has increased the fixed sum that a spouse/civil partner will receive from £250,000 to £270,000 – a measure driven by inflation.
A welcome change, but no replacement for a Will…
Whilst a welcome change, relying upon the rules of intestacy should never be favoured over making a Will, or reviewing the terms of your current Will to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes.
Intestacy provisions might benefit your family, but it is not guaranteed that this will be exactly in the way you intended.
Dying intestate can also leave your loved ones facing significant cost and unnecessary complications, at an already difficult time, so formalising your intentions is always the best way forward.
How can GH Probate Ltd. help?
Whether your loved one has died intestate or with a valid Will in place, we can take on as many or as few of the executor’s duties as you wish, including distributing the estate according to the terms outlined in the deceased’s Will or according to the rules of intestacy.
We can also put you in touch with a trusted, professional Will writer, should you wish to make one or to review your current arrangements.