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Intestacy rules

The Ministry of Justice has announced an increase in the amount of the statutory legacy on intestacy. The statutory legacy is the amount which an individual is entitled to receive from the estate of their husband, wife or civil partner where the individual has not made a Will.

From 1 February 2009 the statutory legacy will increase to:

  • £250,000 (from £125,000) where there is a surviving spouse or civil partner and children
  • £450,000 (from £200,000) where there is a surviving spouse or civil partner and parents or siblings, but no children.

The statutory limits only apply in certain circumstances.

The statutory limits were last increased in 1993 and the government has acted because of concerns that the current levels are too low.

It should be noted that civil partnerships are same sex marriages and not couples just cohabiting, for which there are no statutory legacies. 

Please do get in touch if you have any queries on inheritance tax or the intestacy rules or if you think your Will needs reviewing.

Internet links: Press Release Directgov website

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