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 434022Talk to our legal team
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