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BLOG: Legacy for partners increased in England & Wales

Kate McEvoy

On 15th January the government updated a law which increases the current net sum passed to a surviving spouse or civil partner under the rules of intestacy in England and Wales.

This is of particular importance for people who don’t have a Will in place.

Under the current rules of intestacy, the spouse or civil partner will inherit the whole estate of the deceased if there are no children.

If there are children, the spouse or civil partner will be entitled to all of the deceased’s personal property, the first £250,000 of the estate and 50% of the remainder. As of 6th February 2020, the new change in the law means that this sum increases from £250,000 to £270,000.

The statutory legacy was last changed in October 2014, when it was set at £250,000 under provisions in the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014.

The government promise to update the intestacy rules every five years, and promises to increase the statutory legacy in line with the Consumer Price index.

The increase is greatly welcomed but it is still very important to have a will in place. Many people are still unaware that when dealing with intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit their estate.

Writing a legal will ensures that all your wishes are carried out upon your death.

This will also help your loved ones avoid problems when they are grieving. People may feel as though their loved ones will be cared for in any event but without a will this cannot be certain.

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