Death Without A Will Intestacy 2014

Published / Last Updated on 07/10/2014

Video looks at what happens if you die without a Will following new laws that started on 1st October 2014.


“Hello there. Right, some major changes that have gone on with wills and estate planning that started on 1st October. 1st October 2014 so, what its’ really to do with: intestacy and dying without a will. So I won't cover every single scenario, but I’ll try and cover the basics for you.

1. First things first, this is all to do with death without a will the Intestate's Estate Act. [So] first things first, thinking about: Right, you are not married, you are common-law [spouse], you are not in a civil partnership, you are common-law. So common-law spouses have no rights whatsoever and under the new rules you still have no rights whatsoever. So, if you're not married and your partner has £0.5m in the bank and you don't and they die, you are not entitled to, you not married, you have no interest, it’s only common-law the new rules are exactly the same.

2. If you have children and you're not married, technically it would be the children that would inherit and not the common-law spouse. So, if you are not married, pretty much nothing has changed, you need to make a will and leave things to each other.

3. So moving onto the next scenario, the next scenario is and if you're married but you have no children. So if you are married and you have no children under the current/old laws if you die your spouse would receive the first £450,000 of the estate and then the remaining estate: 50% would be a life interest for the spouse where they don't own it but they have access to it and 50% is effectively left for the other family members. Under the new rules: if you have no will when you die your legally married spouse or civil partner is entitled to the whole lot. None of this ‘messing around’ with distant relatives [that] might inherit and things like that. Your legally married spouse is entitled to the whole lot.

4. So let's move on: what if you die without a will but you’ve also got children? Under the current wills [law], under the current laws: your wife, your husband, your civil partner: they would inherit £250,000 of your estate but then, basically the rest of the estate would be divided in half: 50% held with a life interest for your spouse because they then have a right to access it and drawdown an income from it whatever it might be. And the other 50% is held in trust for your children. So under the old rules: 1st £250,000 so if you have not made a will: 1st £250,000 is inherited by your spouse, the rest is held effectively in trust, where your spouse can access 50% of the trust but never owns it and the other 50% of the balance is held for your children. Under the new rules, broadly speaking the way that now works, is you all you have’nt made a will and you have children and you are married: Your spouse would again inherit £250,000 but, for the rest of the estate, instead of it being 50% being held in a trust where your spouse can get hold of some money and 50% held in a trust for your children the way the balance would now work is: Your spouse is entitled to 50% of the balance out right and the remaining 50% is held in trust the children. So to explain that in very simplistic terms, dying without a will with children: Your wife or husband or civil partner inherit £250,000 then the remainder of the estate is split into 50-50. 50% goes back to your spouse 50% held in trust for your children. And that, then: I’ll take your back to you are married you have not got children. Married, civil partnership, no children: £450,000 goes to your spouse/civil partner, the balance i.e. all is [now] inherited by your spouse/civil partner and not as it was previously where 50% is held in a sort of trust where your spouse partner can get hold of it and 50% held in trust for your other family members distant relatives things like.

And I am putting an article together on the same. Do contact me if you would like any advice on the new rules for intestacy and I suppose, really, fundamentally, what I would say to you is:

Make a will. You know it takes 10 minutes, look at our 10 minute will writing service. Thanks very much for watching.”

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