Change to Statutory Legacy
12th Feb 2020
As of the 6 February 2020, the statutory legacy in situations of intestacy has increased from £250,000 to £270,000.
The statutory legacy was first introduced in 1925 and is an amount that a surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to when the deceased died intestate. Its purpose is to protect the surviving spouse or civil partner’s interests and also ensure the deceased’s children’s interests are equally protected.
Should the deceased have no children at the date of death the entire estate would pass to the spouse or civil partner.
The law does limit the entitlement to those who are married or in a civil partnership. If a couple has divorced or a civil partnership has been legally terminated they will not inherit any part of the estate. Even if a couple lives together but remains unmarried, partners are not entitled to anything. To avoid this situation it would always be advisable to write a legally valid Will, this will ensure that any wishes as to where the estate will go are properly executed.
We have acted in numerous cases where this has been an issue. One example was a long-term partner of a man left severely disabled after having a stroke. He had no Will in place, no capacity to make a Will and little hope of ever gaining the capacity to make a Will. As they were not married and he had no known family it was likely that his estate would pass by intestacy to the Crown. To ensure the benefit of his estate passed to his long-term partner we had to make an application to the court for a Statutory Will to be put in place.
With more and more couples choosing to remain unmarried but cohabiting, it is imperative that they understand that without a legally valid Will in place they will not automatically inherit the benefit of their partner’s estate if their partner dies.
Many people worry about making a Will but it is one of the most important things you can do. It need not be expensive but it is worthwhile getting full advice to ensure that your Will accurately records your wishes and provides for your loved ones in the way you wish.
At Rogers & Norton, our focus is on delivering a sympathetic, cost-effective and tailored solution to your individual needs, whatever your circumstances.