From 26th July the Statutory Legacy increased from £270,000 to £322,000, that is the amount your surviving spouse or civil partner will inherit under the rules of intestacy.

The rules of intestacy are a set of legislative rules which come into effect when a person dies without a valid Will. They set out who will inherit and who is responsible for the administration of your estate.

The priority of who will inherit under the Intestacy Rules is as follows: spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, then lastly the Crown.

If there are no children of the family, then the spouse or civil partner will inherit the whole Estate.

When an individual has children of the family, the Intestacy Rules provide that the spouse should receive the Statutory Legacy, previously £270,000, and now increased to £322,000, all personal possessions and half of the residuary of the estate. The remaining half of the residuary estate will then be divided between the children equally. As it is normally the case, if any of the children are under the age of 18, the inheritance will be held in a trust.

This increase of the Statutory Legacy is meant to reflect the rising cost of living as well as to provide spouses and civil partners with an additional financial security. It is being reviewed regularly but as a rule it is reviewed at least every 5 years.

An important point to remember is that the Statutory Legacy only applies to spouses or civil partners. If you are cohabiting or in a common law marriage, then there is no automatic right to inherit or a right to the Statutory Legacy. For this reason, we recommend that if you wish for the estate to pass in accordance with your wishes you create a Will.

If you would like to discuss anything to do with Wills, Trusts or Probate, please contact our Private Client Team who are available for appointments on 01206 577676 or alternatively email us at [email protected].


For more information

Contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]