Regardless of the changes announced today (1st October 2014) the bottom line clear message is that you should still put a Will in place because it adds certainty and security for your loved ones. After all it is your legal record of who you want to inherit your estate, and those you don?t. Care must still be exercised if you are thinking of excluding anyone since the scope of who can put a claim in against your estate has been strengthened. This will undoubtedly lead to more contested estates, more income generated for the lawyers dealing with it, and less for the residuary beneficiaries, so be careful what you do.
So to recap on the basics (and the phrase married and civil partnership are interchangeable here):
- Married without children, it all goes to the surviving spouse
- Married with children, the surviving spouse will receive the statutory legacy of ?250,000 plus the deceased’s personal belongings (as well as half the estate)
- Unmarried without children, the deceased?s estate goes to his/her parents (else siblings, then nieces and nephews) and the surviving partner gets nothing
- Unmarried with children, it goes to the deceased?s children, then parents, then siblings and then nieces and nephews. Where it gets tricky is where both partners have children from previous relationships, the deceased?s children get it all equally, the survivor and the survivor?s children get nothing
The statutory legacy will now rise, at least every five years, in line with the consumer prices index.
This law update also improves the position of adopted children to ensure they do not lose any potential claim to an inheritance as the definition of who can make a claim is to include a person ?treated as a child of the family?.
Remember, you can do so much more with your estate by writing a Will, and it does not have to cost the earth, (not with us anyway). By using a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters, you are doing business with a trained and qualified individual that operates to a strong ethical code endorsed by the Trading Standards Institute for your peace of mind, and ours.
Look no further, we can help you wherever you live in the UK, contact us here for help today.