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Laws of Intestacy

The rules of intestacy that say how an estate is divided up if the owner dies without leaving a will change in October 2014.

If you are living with your partner, and are not a spouse or a civil partner, you will have no rights if a will has not been made. The laws of intestacy do not recognise a common law partner. Children of married partners may also find they are in line for less than they had thought.

There is a set of intestacy rules that states who gets what when someone dies without making a will.

Under the old rules if a party to a married couple or civil partnership with no children passed away without making a will the first £450,000 of their estate, and half of the remainder, would go to their partner. The remaining amount would then be split between the deceased blood relatives. Under the new rules the surviving married partner would get the whole lot.

If there were children from the marriage or civil partnership, the old rules would have dictated that the partner would get the first £250, 000 then there would have been a complicated system for sharing out anything above that amount with the partner still having a life interest in that money. Although they could not take any of the capital, they could take income from the money.

Under the new rules the surviving partner takes the first £250,000 and half of everything over that amount, the children would then at the age of 18 be entitled to the other half.

The rules of Inheritance are as follows:

  1.  Children or their descendants
  2. Parents
  3. Brothers or sisters or their descendants
  4. Half siblings or their descendants
  5. Grandparents
  6. Uncles and/or aunts or their descendants
  7. Half uncles and/or aunts or their descendants
  8. Whole estate passes to the crown

Making a will is an essential part of inheritance tax planning. If you would like some experienced advice, please contact us.

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