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Changes in Intestacy rules – how they affect you!

Posted on Thursday, 9th October 2014 by

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon via Compfight cc

The rules that apply if you die without a Will have finally been given a long overdue overhaul! From 1st October, the intestacy rules have changed. However, despite much discussion, they still do not recognise unmarried couples and therefore the need for a Will remains.

There are some significant changes though.  Prior to 1st October, there was a chance that if you were married when you died and you had no children that some of your assets could pass to other family members and not just your spouse.  This has now changed and if you are married and have no children on your death, all of your assets will pass to your husband, wife or civil partner.

However, if you die with children, your spouse will receive the first £250,000 and half of the remainder.  The rest would go to the children.  This could cause great difficulties if, for example, a house is owned by the deceased and is worth over what the spouse is entitled to from the estate. Potentially, part of the property would then be put into trust for the children until they were 18 and it would be difficult to sell before this time.

Unmarried partners continue to receive nothing if they die without a Will, making a Will essential.

If you have any questions about how the changes to the intestacy rules affect you or you wish to discuss making a Will, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Godber on 01858 434022

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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