Statutory Legacy increase for partners under the Intestacy Rules

As per the agreed promise to update the intestacy rules every five years, the Government has kept its word and updated the statutory legacy to partners.  The new statutory legacy which comes into force on 6th February 2020, increases the sum due to spouses or civil partners of people who die intestate with children, from £250,000 to £270,000. 

The increase in the statutory legacy due to spouses and civil partners is raised by the Government in line with the consumer price index.  However, the president of the Law Society, Simon Davis, has still highlighted the importance of having a Will particularly to those that are unmarried.

When someone dies without making a Will their estate is distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. The rules determine who should inherit from the estate of the deceased based on the surviving family members. The rules do not take into account personal relationships and who is at need but simply look at the family connections and bloodline.

In the scenario where the deceased leaves a surviving spouse or civil partner and has children, from the 6th February 2020, the surviving partner will receive the statutory legacy of £270,000 plus all personal possessions of the deceased. Anything above the statutory legacy is divided in two, half of the remainder passes to the spouse absolutely and the other half is split equally between any surviving children at age 18.

Although the increase in the legacy is welcomed by many, it is important that people are aware of what would happen to their estate under the rules of intestacy. As mentioned, unmarried partners have no automatic right to benefit from a deceased’s estate and this can cause numerous issues following death.

In scenarios such as this it is fundamentally important to ensure that your affairs and estate are in order. Failing to make a Will or update it can cause chaos and disruption to your family or dependents. An up to date Will provides you with the security that your wishes are complied with and provides your family and friends ease of dealing with your estate following death. At MLP Law our team of experts are able to take you through the process to guarantee you the service is tailored specifically to your needs and offer you clear service without any hidden extras.

For help and advice on the Statutory Legacy increase or Intestacy Rules, please speak to our Wills, Trusts and Probate team by emailing wills@mlplaw.co.uk or calling 0161 926 9969.