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Do not let the rise in Statutory Legacy put you off making a Will
17
January

Do not let the rise in Statutory Legacy put you off making a Will

By: Emma Williams

Tags: Wills, Wills And Probate, Power Of Attorney

A Statutory Legacy is a Legacy a Spouse or Civil Partner will receive from an intestate estate.  From 6th February 2020, that figure will rise from £250,000 to £270,000 in line with inflation.

The law society has issued a press release explaining what this means;

“If someone dies without making a will – also known as dying intestate – the law determines how much of their estate their partner, children and other relatives will inherit,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.

“Under intestacy rules, if there are no children, the partner will inherit the entire estate.

“If there are children, partners will inherit all of the deceased’s personal property, the first £270,000 of the estate and half of the remaining estate – the other half will go to their children.”

At least every five years, the government raises the amount partners can inherit in line with the consumer price index.

In October 2014, the amount was set at £250,000 and it will be increased to £270,000 from 6 February 2020. This update was originally due in October 2019.

“This increase is very welcome but many people are unaware that under intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit,” said Simon Davis.

“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.”

Whilst this is a welcome rise, it should not deter you from making a Will.  If the total value of the estate passing under intestacy is over the Statutory Legacy, the remaining estate will pass half to the spouse and the other half to their children on Trust. 

The Statutory Legacy only applies to married couples or couples in a Civil Partnership, therefore it is still important unmarried couples make a Will.  Despite public belief, there is no such thing as common law spouse under intestacy law.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our private client department.

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