The Government passed the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net Sum) Order 2023 to increase the Statutory Legacy amount when someone dies intestate, from £270,000 to £322,000.
This change to the Statutory Legacy applies to anyone who dies intestate after 26 July 2023.
What Is The Statutory Legacy?
This is the amount of inheritance that a surviving spouse or civil partner receives if their loved one dies without leaving a Will.
If there are children, then the surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to the Statutory Legacy before the rest of the estate is shared 50/50 between the spouse or civil partner and the children.
From 26 July 2023, the Statutory Legacy sum increased from £270,000 to £322,000.
Rules Of Intestacy
The rules of intestacy apply to the distribution of an individual’s estate if they die intestate – that is, they die without leaving a Will.
A Will states the wishes of an individual for how they want their estate to be passed on when they die, and exactly who should benefit from it.
If there is no Will, then the Administration of Estates Act 1925 states that the rules of intestacy decide how the estate is to be distributed.
Under the rules of intestacy, family members take priority for inheritance. Starting with the surviving spouse or civil partner and children before moving onto other relatives, the estate is shared out depending on how closely related to the deceased you are and how big the estate is.
If there are no children, it all passes to the spouse or civil partner, or if there are children but the estate is worth less than £322,000, which is the new Statutory Legacy sum, then the surviving spouse or civil partner inherits the whole estate.
If there are children, the spouse or civil partner receives the Statutory Legacy and then the remainder of the estate is split 50/50 between the spouse or civil partner and the children. The children’s share is divided equally between them, with inheritance being held in a trust for those under the age of 18.
If there is no surviving spouse or civil partner, children or even remote family members, then on these rare occasions the estate passes to the Crown.
Why You Should Make A Will
Making a Will means being able to protect your family and loved ones long after you die. You are able to decide who inherits and how much they inherit from your estate.
Without a Will, the rules of intestacy apply and dictate how the estate is distributed – which is not always what the individual would have wanted. For example, there is no automatic right for surviving unmarried partners, even co-habiting partners, to inherit under the intestacy rules.
Helping You To Protect Loved Ones
We can help if you want to make a Will or to update an existing Will, as well as answer any questions you may have about the Statutory Legacy update. Our specialist solicitors will ensure you have everything in place to enable you to protect and care for loved ones when you die.
To speak to one of our professional solicitors about Wills or the Statutory Legacy, please contact us at our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or email email@example.com