UK Government Announces New Statutory Legacy
For those that do not know, the statutory legacy is the sum that a surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to before an estate is divided, should an individual die intestate (without a will) but with children.
In 2020, the sum increased to £270,000 and a further increase has now been announced which will come into effect on 26th July 2023. The new statutory legacy sum will be £322,000.
The important thing to note here is that you are only affected by this if the person who passes away, does not have a valid will in place. This highlights clearly why having a valid will in place is so important – without a will you lose the element of control as to how, and to whom, your assets are distributed. While many would agree that this rise in statutory legacy is a good thing, it may not reflect your specific wishes.
How Statutory Legacy Works
It is sometimes hard to see how these legislative changes can work in practice. So here is an example to help make this clearer. Mr Smith is going to pass away on 30th July 2023. He has no will in place. He is survived by his wife (let’s call her Karen) and their two children, Francis and Timothy. Mr Smith’s estate is worth £1,000,000. Therefore, in accordance with the intestacy rules, his estate will be distributed to the family as follows:
- Karen, will receive a total of £661,000 (comprising the £322,000 Statutory Legacy, plus 50% of the remaining £678,000, which is £339,000).
- Francis and Timothy will each receive £169,500 (their equal share of the other £339,000).
The Possible Impact of Statutory Legacy
A surviving spouse or civil partner could find themselves in financial hardship if their spouse or civil partner has not made a will, as it may mean they are needing to share the remainder of the estate, subject to the statutory legacy, with the children.
Do you need assistance in dealing with an estate where the deceased left no will? If so, then contact our experienced wills, trusts and probate team today. They can help you understand both statutory legacy and intestacy rules when dealing with Probate in Plymouth. Simply call 01752 203500 or email enquiries@GAsolicitors.com.If you would like to dispute how an estate is distributed. Then you can also speak with our wills, inheritance and trusts disputes team.
Preparing for the future
To make sure your family do not have to go through the additional stress should the worst happen, you should ensure you have a valid and up-to-date will in place. Read more about our will writing service here. Call 01752 203500 to speak with a member of the team or email enquiries@GAsolicitors.com.
A respected firm of solicitors in Plymouth, you can be assured that if you choose GA Solicitors you will be in safe hands. Our wills, trusts and probate team is ranked in The Legal 500 and Chambers High Net Worth.