The Intestacy Rules in England and Wales have been updated, with the statutory legacy increasing from £270,000 to £322,000.
The update came into effect on 26 July 2023, and is the first increase to statutory legacy since 2014, which is intended to reflect the rising cost of living.
The statutory legacy is a fixed sum of money that is paid to the surviving spouse or civil partner of someone who dies intestate. The spouse or civil partner also receives all of the deceased’s personal possessions.
The increase in the intestacy limit is a result of the escalating inflation rates. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, the cost of living has surged by over 15% since the last limit review in 2020. As a result, a larger number of properties are expected to pass entirely to the surviving spouse, particularly considering that the average house price in England and Wales presently amounts to £286,489.
Increase in Wills & Intestacies
Although the statutory legacy increase will have a positive effect on firms with an increase in Wills being made, it will also be likely to lead to more people dying intestate, as they may no longer feel the need to make a Will if their spouse or civil partner will be adequately provided.
If a client hasn’t made a Will, then of course, their estate will be distributed in line with the intestacy rules. See our updated diagram as a handy reminder on how to navigate the Intestacy Rules.
No known next of kin?
Many cases involve clients who have passed away, assuming they had no next of kin. However, in most instances, there are living and entitled next of kin, even if they are distantly related or residing abroad. These legitimate beneficiaries might have little or no knowledge of the deceased individual, yet they still have rightful claims.
We have a tried and trusted solution for finding relatives of deceased individuals whereby you won’t incur any risk or fees, whilst observing best practice.
If you are a Solicitor or other professional, we can also help secure instructions for your firm to administer the estate. Any costs you may have already incurred can then be recovered and further work generated. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 7490 4935 or visit our website to make a referral: https://www.findersinternational.co.uk/our-services/no-known-next-kin/
This article was submitted to be published by Finders International as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.