From 6 February 2020, spouses or civil partners with children will be able to inherit £270,000 from intestate estates.  This is up from £250,000, which has been the amount set from October 2014.

An intestate Estate is one where the person has died without leaving a Will.  In these circumstances, the Estate is distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.  The rules can be complicated depending on your personal circumstances and who you have surviving you and we have set out a couple of examples below:

  1. Jim dies leaving an Estate worth £500,000. He is survived by his wife, Lyn, and their son, David.  Under the Intestacy Rules:
  • Lyn would be entitled to the first £270,000 of the Estate. All of Jim’s personal belongings, and half of the remaining Estate (£115,000).
  • David would be entitled to the remaining half (£115,000).
  • If David is under 18 years old, it would be held in Trust for him until he reaches the age of 18.
  • If the house is most of the Estate, Lyn won’t own her matrimonial home.
  1. Pauline dies leaving no spouse/civil partner or children. Her parents died before her.  Her only sibling, Margaret, died the year before.  Margaret has two children.  Pauline’s Estate would therefore be divided equally between Margaret’s children.

In Jim’s case, he may have preferred his entire Estate to pass to his wife.  In Pauline’s, she may have never met Margaret’s children and would have preferred her Estate to pass to friends who are closer to her, or to charities.

The best way to provide certainty and clarity as to what will happen on your death, and to ensure that your wishes are carried out, is to make a Will.

If you would like to discuss setting up a Will in more detail, please contact:

Heswall – Georgina Roberts on 0151 342 1831.

Liverpool – Jane Hogg or Gwen Collins on 0151 236 7171