The House of Commons have approved a rise in the statutory legacy under the intestacy rules from £250,000 to £270,000. This is the first increase since October 2014 and the government has undertaken to update the statutory legacy every 5 years.
The statutory legacy affects those who have not made a will and die leaving a spouse/civil partner and children. The increase will apply to estates where the deceased has died on or after 6th February 2020.
From 6th February 2020, if an estate is worth £270,000 or less, the whole estate will pass to the surviving spouse/civil partner. If the estate exceeds £270,000 then the surviving spouse/civil partner will receive the first £270,000 with the balance being split between the surviving spouse/civil partner, who will receive 50%, and the children who share between them the remaining 50%.
Whilst this increase is positive news, it highlights the importance of making a will in order to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes. This is particularly important if you are unmarried or have not entered into a civil partnership and would like your partner to inherit, as the intestacy rules make no provision for a partner who is not your spouse or civil partner.
Making a will with a specialist solicitor will also ensure that your assets are passed to your loved ones in the most tax efficient manner possible and may prevent claims being brought against your estate by family members who believe they have not been adequately provided for under the intestacy rules.
It is also important to remember that if you are recently separated and not yet divorced, you should urgently make a will to protect your assets should you pass away before the divorce is finalised.
How can Geldards help?
If you would like to make a will, explore methods of inheritance tax planning or discuss steps which can be taken to prevent any disputes arising after your death, please contact Claire Johnson or Laura Alliss.
RELATED: WILLS & PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
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