The government has kept its promise to update intestacy rules every five years – albeit three months after its deadline passed. The change increases the statutory legacy for partners of people who die intestate from £250,000 to £270,000.
The statutory legacy was last changed in October 2014 when it was set at £250,000 under provisions in the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014. The figure is meant to be updated every five years. A statutory instrument setting out the increase – which is in line with the consumer price index and will come into force on 6 February – was laid in the House of Commons yesterday.
Under current intestacy rules, if the deceased has no children their partner will inherit the entire estate. Before 2014, the surviving partner had to share the estate with the deceased’s parents or siblings.
Simon Davis, president of the Law Society, welcomed the announcement but stressed the importance of writing a will. ‘This increase is very welcome but many people are unaware that under intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit,’ he said.
‘Writing a legally valid will with the help of an expert solicitor ensures people’s estate is inherited exactly as they would choose and can prevent a whole raft of problems landing on loved ones when they are grieving.’