Rules regarding intestacy (dying without a will in place) have changed this month (February 6th), with the amount that a spouse or civil partner automatically inherits if their partner dies without a will rising by £20,000, entitling them to the first £270,000 of the deceased’s estate.
The move has been welcomed by legal experts, according to the Financial Times, but they also reminded people that the only way to make sure that an estate is divided up as an individual would wish is to draw up a will.
If you die intestate and you have no children, your partner will inherit your entire estate. If there are children, however, your partner will inherit all your personal property, the first £270,000 of the estate and half of what is left. The other half will then go to your children.
President of the Law Society Simon Davis said: “This increase is very welcome but many people are unaware that under intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit.”
Currently, there are approximately 3.4 million cohabiting couples in the UK, many of whom have children. If you’re unmarried, it won’t matter how long you’ve been together if there isn’t a will - the estate will go to any children you have.
It’s essential that you do have a will in place and it has to be the right kind of document in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out. A professionally prepared document will set out specific legacies, set up any maintenance trusts for children, minimise the inheritance tax liability and so on.
If you need help with will writing in Chippenham, get in touch with us today.