Dying without a will


Changes in the law to the Statutory Legacy will have huge effects on relatives of someone who dies without a will.

Before February 1 this year, if a spouse or civil partner died leaving children, their surviving spouse or civil partner was entitled to receive the first £125,000 of the estate outright.

The remainder was divided into trusts, meaning that, in larger estates, children of the deceased would have some immediate benefit and a further benefit upon the death of the surviving spouse or civil partner.

The entitlement for a spouse or civil partner has now doubled to £250,000.  While this will help the cause of the surviving spouse or civil partner; it may disadvantage children from previous relationships, who might not benefit from the estate of a parent who dies without a will in place.

The importance of making a will cannot be stressed enough to ensure that the family and loved ones you wish to benefit from you estate do so. 

This is particularly important for those in co-habitee relationships, including same sex couples, where their relationship has not been formalised.

No changes have been made to the law for co-habiting couples, who are entitled to receive nothing under the Intestacy Rules as the currently stand.