The Government Increases the Statutory Legacy
If you die without leaving a valid Will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and the distribution of your estate is determined by the Rules of Intestacy.
In such circumstances, if you die leaving a spouse or civil partner and children, your spouse or civil partner currently receives the first £270,000 of your estate together with all of your personal possessions.
This payment of £270,000 to a spouse or civil partner is commonly called the Statutory Legacy.
The remaining estate is then divided equally between (1) your spouse or civil partner and (2) your children.
Any jointly held property generally passes by survivorship to the surviving co-owner and would be excluded from the above distribution.
On 5th July 2023, the Government passed The Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net Sum Order 2023) which increased the Statutory Legacy from £270,000 to £322,000 for all deaths on or after 26th July 2023.
As explained in our article “Why Make A Will”, the distribution of your estate according to the Rules of Intestacy may not match your wishes or be appropriate. For example, if you and your partner are neither married or in a civil partnership, then the Rules of Intestacy would make no provision whatsoever for any of your estate to pass to your partner. This could have serious consequences in the event of death for the surviving partner.
For this reason and others, everyone should consider making a Will.
At Midwinters, we can offer an obligation-free initial appointment and can tailor our services to suit your particular circumstances. Please call us on 01242 514 674 to discuss further.