Intestacy (Dying Without a Will) – What Will My Spouse/Civil Partner Get?.

If you die without having first made a will, your ‘free’ estate (all your UK assets including any property, cash assets and other assets which haven’t already been nominated for another, for example, any life insurance or a private pension payment) will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.

The intestacy rules were introduced by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 and provide that where an individual dies without a child or children (including adopted but not a step child or children), their surviving spouse or civil partner will receive the whole of the free estate.

However, where an individual dies with a child or children, the surviving spouse will inherit the personal possessions and, depending on the value of the estate, an amount up to a maximum of a fixed net sum, known as the statutory legacy.

For all deaths from 26 July 2023 the statutory legacy will be £322,000.

Accordingly, if your free estate exceeds this amount, or if you would wish someone other than your spouse or civil partner to inherit in the event of your demise, it is imperative you seek legal advice regarding the preparation of a will.

Please note that the term civil partner refers to someone who has signed a civil partnership document and not a ‘common law’ partner, or cohabitee.

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