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Wills, Trusts & Power of Attorney

By Nicolae Trofin

01424 217871


The changes of the Intestacy law may affect you

Do you know what are you entitled to if your spouse/partner dies without a valid Will?

Married/Civil Partner, no children

Before 1 October 2014 - £450,000
First £450,000 plus half of the rest goes to the spouse, remaining 50% to the blood relatives (parents, nieces, etc).

Example Husband dies leaving £750,000. Wife receives £600,000. The husband’s father has died, but his mother is still alive. She receives remaining £150,000.

After 1 October - Whole estate
Entire estate goes to spouse/civil partner.

Example Husband dies, total estate £750,000. Wife: Receives £750,000.
Husband’s mother: Receives nothing.

Married/Civil partner, with children

Before 1 October - £250,000
First £250,000 goes to the spouse with half of the rest going to the children and the remainder going to them when the spouse dies. But while alive, the spouse keeps a ‘life interest’ in half the money above £250,000 which lets them spend the income, but not touch the capital.

Example Husband leaves £450,000. His wife receives £250,000. The remaining £200,000 goes to his sole child.
But his wife keeps a “life interest” in this money.

After 1 October - £250,000
First £250,000 plus half of the rest goes to the spouse. The remaining estate goes to the children. The ‘life interest’ rule disappears.

Unmarried couple, no children

Before 1 October - £0
Partner receives nothing.
The entire estate goes to the deceased’s blood relatives. First in line are parents, then siblings, then nieces and nephews.

Example John dies, total estate £200,000. Partner of 20 years, Susan, receives nothing. John’s parents have died, and his one brother, Jeff, has also passed away. Jeff had one child, Clare, who John barely spoke to. Clare receives all the money.

After 1 October - £0
No change. Partner still receives nothing­ if there’s no will. There is no such thing as “common law” protection, no matter how long the partners have lived together.

Unmarried couple, with children

Before 1 October - £0
Partner receives nothing. The person is treated as if they are single.

Example John has a son, Jack, from an earlier marriage, but is going out with Susan, who has a daughter, Jill, from her former partner. If John suddenly dies, Jack inherits the lot while Susan and Jill get nothing.
After 1 October - £0
No change. The parents are treated as single people – with the estate going entirely to blood relatives, with children­ first in line.

 As a Will writer from Bexhill I'd be happy to offer free advice to anyone who lives in Hastings, Battle, Rye, Eastbourne or anywhere in East Sussex or Kent.

This message was added on Monday 15th June 2015

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