020 8429 9245

February 6th 2017 / BY: Wisteria

What Happens in a Case of Intestacy?

Intestacy

The thought of the afterlife may not be the most appealing thing to think about on a day to day basis. However preparing well for these unpleasant times may well help relieve a lot of stress and grief for your loved ones. Therefore it is highly recommended that you ensure that you have a valid will in place. We previously shared our views on “The importance of having a valid will” back in December 2016.

If however, you unfortunately do not have a valid will at death, your estate will pass via what is known as in Intestacy. With the rules having changed recently, it is useful to know what the rules were and how they have changed exactly.

Pre October 2014
(1)    If the deceased has a spouse but no children (but with parents and/or surviving siblings).

Spouse / Civil Partner receives:

  • The first £450,000
  • All personal Chattels
  • One half of the remainder of the estate

The parents or surviving siblings receive half of the remaining estate

(2)    If the deceased has a spouse and children.

Spouse / Civil Partner receives:

  • The first £250,000
  • All personal Chattels
  • Life interest in half of the remainder of the estate.

The children receive half of the remaining half of the estate at 18. 

Post October 2014
For (1) above, the spouse or civil partner now receives 100% and the parents / siblings do not receive anything.

For (2) above, the spouse or civil partner will still receive the first £250,000 and all personal chattels, but rather than receiving a life interest, they will have an absolute outright interest in the remaining half of the estate. This leaves the children to still receive the other half of the estate at the age of 18.

As you can see, with no valid will, there is a specific order and way in which your estate will be distributed and this may not be the optimal way in which you would like. Therefore, it is important to understand the rules of intestacy or have a valid will to make sure that your estate is distributed as you wish and the most tax efficient outcome is achieved (if possible).

Therefore, if you wish for Wisteria’s experienced probate practitioners to assist and guide you through the process, then please do not hesitate to contact them on 020 8429 9245 or email info@wisteria.co.uk.