Important changes to the Intestacy Rules

The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 will come into force today (1/10/14) and makes some important changes to the Rules of Intestacy. If someone dies ‘intestate’ this means that they have died without leaving a valid Will and so the Rules of Intestacy will apply in deciding how their estate is devolved.

Two important changes relate to the way in which an intestate’s estate is shared between their surviving spouse or civil partner.

Firstly, in cases where the intestate leaves no surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren the residuary estate is passed entirely to his or her spouse or civil partner. Previously the first £450,000 and then half of anything over this amount was passed to the spouse/civil partner, and the remainder divided among the relatives.

The second and more significant change applies to circumstances where the intestate is survived by their spouse/ civil partner with children. Here, the surviving spouse or civil partner receives:-

  1. The personal effects,
  2. The first £250,000,
  3. Half of the residue absolutely.

Children will then receive the other half of the residue absolutely at age 18 in equal shares.

Garside & Hoy are now taking appointments under the Will Aid scheme which runs throughout November. Under Will Aid instead of paying the fee for the Will to the Solicitor clients donate the fee to Will Aid (suggested fees of £95 for a single Will and £135 for two mirror Wills). Will Aid supports nine charities including the NSPCC and Age UK. If you have not yet got around to making a Will and would be interested in doing so please contact us on 0208 427 5656 for more information.