The Government Announce an Increase in the Statutory Legacy

The government has announced that the statutory legacy will be increased from £270,000 to £322,000 from 26 July 2023 as it is based on the consumer price index.

What is the statutory legacy?

If someone dies without a Will, they are deemed to have died intestate and their estate will be passed in accordance with the intestacy rules. Any assets owned jointly (as joint tenants) pass to the surviving co-owner.

If someone dies intestate and is survived by a spouse/civil partner and by children, the surviving spouse/civil partner will be entitled to an amount known as the statutory legacy. The statutory legacy is the fixed sum, allocated to the surviving spouse/civil partner before the remainder of the estate is distributed. The remaining estate is then split half to the surviving spouse/civil partner and the other half is shared amongst any surviving children or descendants if their parent has already died.  The change in the statutory legacy means that the amount passing directly to the surviving spouse/civil partner has been increased.

Does this mean that I do not need to make a Will?

Although the increase to the statutory legacy helps the surviving spouse/civil partner, making a Will means that you are not relying on the intestacy rules and any potential changes that could be brought in.

A Will:

  • Gives you control as to how your assets will be divided on your death;
  • Enables you to make provisions for charities, friends and other relatives that would not benefit under the intestacy rules;
  • Means you can exclude certain beneficiaries or incorporate structures like trusts to safeguard inheritance or beneficiaries;
  • Allows you to appoint executors of your choosing who would administer your estate and potentially speeds up the administration of an estate.

At The Wilkes Partnership, we have a dedicated Private Client team who are on hand to assist with the preparation or updating of a Will. Please contact Sophie Fenn, Senior Associate on 0121 733 8000 or email [email protected] for further information.

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