A person who dies without leaving a valid Will is described as dying intestate. Special rules called the Intestacy Rules set out which of your relatives will receive all or part of your estate should you die with no Will. There are also set rules which state who can sort out your estate when you die.
The intestacy rules are due to change. If you die without a Will leaving both a surviving spouse/civil partner and children then the rules say, that firstly an amount known as the ‘statutory legacy’ is to be paid to your spouse/civil partner. The statutory legacy is currently set at £250,000 but is due to increase to £270,000 as of 6 February 2020. Anything over and above the statutory legacy is held as for: 50% for your spouse or civil partner and 50% for your children. There are different rules depending on which relatives survive you, for instance if you die leaving no children or spouse/civil partner then your estate would pass to your parents. An important point to add is that these rules make no provision for unmarried couples and so your partner would receive nothing when you die if you were not married or in a civil partnership.
Most people want the assurance that they have appointed people they trust to sort out their estate when they die, and, that their assets pass in accordance with their wishes, rather than the Intestacy Rules. If you would like to have a Will prepared, or require further information on the Intestacy Rules then please contact our specialist Wills and Probate Team.
To encourage people to make Wills we will be offering a ten per cent discount if you quote ‘February offer’ but your appointment must be booked during the month of February.