Will It All Be OK For My Family If I Die Without a Will?

  • Posted

By Bernard Flanagan, Solicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts, Probate and Powers of Attorney

Maybe not.

Although, it may be £20,000 better than it was yesterday for a surviving spouse or civil partner.

Today marks the increase of the statutory legacy from £250,000 to £270,000.

Under the intestacy rules, the deceased’s estate is distributed depending on who survives them and their relationship to the deceased.

Take a situation where husband dies leaving a wife and son and an estate worth £1 million, not everything will pass to his wife.

The wife will receive the following:

  • The possessions (nil value);
  • £270,000 – the Statutory Legacy; and
  • Half of the remaining estate.

In this example, the son will receive significant assets from his father’s estate and this would lead to Inheritance Tax of £16,000 being payable when otherwise it might not have been if a Will had been prepared.

Whilst the increase of the Statutory Legacy by £20,000 is welcomed it is not a fix to the potential problems your family can face if you die without a Will.

To avoid these issues and to put better provisions in place for your loved ones, including choosing your Executors, if you have minor children, deciding who will look after them and controlling the age when they inherit your estate as oppose to the default age of 18 years, we advise that you make a Will. If you have not already done so or feel it is time to review your current arrangements, please contact Bernard or the Private Client Team to make an appointment.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.