Changes to intestacy rules

October 1, 2014   //   No Comments

As reported in The Guardian on 20th September, the laws dividing assets where there is no will change radically today (1st October).

If someone dies without a will, there is a set of intestacy rules that divide the assets between interested parties. The rule changes will only affect people who die with more than £250,000 in assets; an ever increasing number of people due to the upsurge in house prices.  Many people thought that the current law affecting common law partners would be changed to reflect the number of unmarried couples.  However, there is to be no such change, so common law partners still have no automatic right to receive a penny, regardless of how long they have lived together or even if they had children.

The biggest change is for married couples and civil partnerships without children. Under the old rules, if a spouse died intestate and there were no children, then the first £450,000 of the estate, plus half of the rest, went to the surviving spouse. The other half was split between the deceased’s blood relatives – which often meant the money went back to the parents. Under the new rules, the surviving spouse will receive everything.

You may read more details in The Guardian’s article.

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