The Statutory Legacy sum, which is the fixed sum which a deceased’s surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled from their estate when they die intestate, is set to be raised in July 2023.
Confirmed by the Government earlier this month, a new Statutory Legacy of £322,000 will come into effect on 26th July.
What is a Statutory Legacy Sum?
When someone dies without making a valid Will, they are said to die ‘intestate’. Their estate, including property and monies which forms part of their estate, will be passed on according to rules known as the Intestacy Rules.
Currently set at £270,000, the Statutory Legacy is the sum to which the surviving spouse or civil partner of a person who dies intestate, who has children, is entitled to first from the estate. The remainder of the estate is shared. This happens when a person dies in intestate.
The Intestacy Rules provide that, after the Statutory Legacy and the deceased’s personal belongings, any remainder of the estate is then shared between the spouse and the children. Half of this remainder will go to the spouse/civil partner and the other half will be shared equally amongst the children.
Why is the Statutory Legacy important?
When you are making plans for the future of your loved ones, it’s essential that you’re aware of what happens to your estate after your death with and without a valid Will.
Many people assume that dying intestate means your property is shared out equally amongst your immediate family. This may not be the case. The law surrounding estate administration is complicated and you should not presume to know what will happen.
With a valid Will, what you want to happen to your estate may not happen. If you die intestate, it will be left to the law to decide what happens to your estate.
With the increase in the Statutory Legacy sum, a spouse will receive a far higher sum from your estate before your children receive their share. A spouse will earn both a legacy sum, plus 50% of the remainder of the estate following the Statutory legacy sum.
What You Can Do
The simplest and most effective way to protect your family’s future is to ensure you do not die intestate and have a valid Will created. See our article on Making a Will – What You Need to Know for more information.
You can further protect your estate by having a Lasting Power of Attorney, which ensure your family keep control of your estate and well-being if you were to lose mental capacity. See more in our article What is a Power of Attorney?
Lindsey Rawson, head of our Wills, Trusts & Probate department, can help you create an estate plan, help draft a Will, support you to deal with a person’s estate when they pass away and get all your affairs in order ready for retirement. She specialises in Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate and inheritance tax planning.
Lindsey acts for clients in South Yorkshire and beyond and can be contacted by calling 0114 249 66 66 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org