Intestacy Rules 2020 Alex Truesdale Wills In Cobham Surrey

Intestacy Rules

Intestacy Rules. Dying without a Will can cause additional financial hardship for those you leave behind.  Minimise the uncertainty with a Will which secures your estate for your loved ones.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing and estate planning service based in Cobham, Surrey and serving Oxshott, Esher, the Greater London, Berkshire and Hampshire areas. 

Call: 07887 946557 to make a Will today.

Intestacy Rules

Intestacy Rules in 2023. Dying without a Will can cause additional financial hardship for those you leave behind.  Minimise the uncertainty with a Will which secures your estate for your loved ones.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing and estate planning service based in Cobham, Surrey and serving Oxshott, Esher, the Greater London, Berkshire and Hampshire areas. 

Call: 07887 946557 to make a Will today.

The Perils Of Intestacy

The majority of adults in the UK do not have a Will – a recent survey found that 58% of all adults, and 74% of all cohabiting couples, have yet to draft Wills.

Dying Without A Will

Dying without a Will, or “intestate”, can have distressing and unexpected consequences:

  • Under statutory intestacy rules, if you are cohabiting but not married or in a registered civil partnership, your partner would inherit nothing.
  • The operation of those statutory intestacy rules could force the sale of the family home:
    • Your spouse or civil partner would only receive up to £450,000, your personal effects and half of the balance of your estate if you die childless.
    • If you die leaving children your spouse or civil partner would only receive £322,000, your personal effects and half of the balance of your estate.
    • If you die leaving children under the age of 18 you hand the local authority the power to decide who becomes their guardian, which may force those best placed to look after your children to apply to the court to compete for the right to do so.
    • Your loved ones are faced with the added burden of dealing with your intestate estate during which time they would be unable to access or deal with your assets, which may give rise to immediate financial difficulties.

How Do Intestacy Rules Work?

The information below on intestacy rules applies to estates within England and Wales only.  Talk to us for further advice if you own property outside England and Wales.

Intestacy Laws in England & Wales

The rules which determine who inherits your estate if you have not made a Will date from 1925.  A strict “pecking order” is established by the Intestacy Rules, which depends on factors such as:
ο Your marital status.

ο Whether you had children.

ο Your immediate family.

Once a relative or class of relatives within this “pecking order” is located, the search stops there and your entire estate is allocated to that relative or relatives.

Need help getting started on thinking about the future?

Send an online enquiry or email info@alextruesdalewills.com for expert advice and guidance on your Will writing and estate planning needs.

Intestacy Rules: Key Points

  1. Your spouse or civil partner will benefit if he/she survives you by 28 days, otherwise, the estate will be dealt with as if you had no spouse or civil partner.
  2. If a class of relative existed but has died leaving children, those children will inherit equally what would have been their parent’s share “per stirpes”. However, cousins are the remotest relatives who can inherit under the laws of intestacy.
  3. Within each class of relative, relatives of the full blood (who share the same parents with you) take preference over those of the half blood (who have only one parent in common with you).
  4. In-laws have no rights.
  5. Legally adopted children have the same rights as their adopted parent/s’ natural children, but lose all rights to their birth parents’ estates.
  6. Stepchildren and foster children have no automatic rights.
  7. Children born out of legal wedlock are recognised under intestacy law.
  8. “Common Law” husbands/wives are not recognised under intestacy law. They have to go to Court if they wish to be allocated an inheritance.
  9. Same-sex partners are not recognised under intestacy law unless they registered a civil partnership with you. They have to go to Court if they wish to be allocated an inheritance.
  10. Children may only inherit directly from their 18th birthday. Before then, their inheritance will be held in trust.
  11. How beneficiaries will inherit jointly-owned assets is dependent on how that property is held.

The Rules of Intestacy in England and Wales

The Probate Process

Common Intestacy Scenarios

The entire estate (after the payment of funeral expenses, tax and debts) is distributed in the following order:

ο Children (but if deceased then their children, if any)

ο Parents

ο Brothers and sisters (but if deceased then their children, if any)

ο Half brothers and half-sisters

ο Grandparents

ο Aunts and uncles (but if deceased then their children, if any)

ο If no cousins then it goes to the Crown (the Government)

Regardless of how long a couple have lived together, or whether there are children involved, under intestacy law, the deceased is classed as single. Partners have no automatic inheritance rights.

For married couples with no children the entire estate (after the payment of funeral expenses, tax and debts) is distributed as follows:

ο The surviving spouse gets a “statutory legacy” of the first £450,000 from the estate plus goods and all personal chattels.

ο The surviving spouse also gets half of the remainder of the estate.

ο The other half of the remainder is distributed to the deceased’s parents. If neither parent survives, the estate then goes to the deceased’s brothers and sisters and, if any of the brothers and sisters have died, to their children.

ο If none of the above are alive to inherit, the surviving spouse gets everything.

For married couples with children the entire estate (after the payment of funeral expenses, tax and debts) is distributed as follows:

ο The surviving spouse gets a “statutory legacy” of the first £322,000 plus goods and all personal chattels.

ο Half the remainder of the estate goes to the deceased’s children immediately (or in trust until they are 18).

ο The other half of the remainder goes to the children, but the surviving spouse gets a life interest which entitles him/ her to the income from that half, but not the capital

Intestacy Rules 2020, Alex Truesdale, Solicitor based in Cobham Surrey

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional Will drafting and estate planning service covering the Surrey, Kent, Greater London areas, the South Coast of England and Wales.

Call us on 07887 946557 or request a call back here.

2023-12-04T11:36:02+00:00
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