I don’t need a Will, the whole of my estate will pass to my spouse anyway…

Keys“I don’t need a Will, the whole of my estate will pass to my spouse anyway”

We hear this comment a lot and it isn’t necessarily the case. If a person dies without a Will the Intestacy Rules dictate who will inherit the estate.

Assets over £250,000

Certainly if there is a surviving spouse or civil partner assets up to £250,000 will pass to that individual. However, if there is a surviving spouse/civil partner and children (or grandchildren) and the estate is worth more than £250,000 then the first £250,000 passes to the spouse/civil partner outright. In relation to the estate beyond that figure, the children (or grandchildren) will inherit half and the spouse/civil partner will inherit half. The whole of the estate does not pass to the spouse.

What does the law say

Without a Will in place, the law dictates who is entitled to deal with the estate and who will benefit. If, for example, the deceased person does not leave a surviving spouse, children or grandchildren (or great-grandchildren) and his or her parents have already died then his or her brothers and/or sisters will inherit. The line of entitlement can continue on to any surviving nephews and nieces, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Richard Barlow: “I don’t need a Will, the whole of my estate will pass to my spouse anyway”
Richard Barlow

In cases where there is no Will and no living relatives the Crown will inherit.

A Will is vital in order to determine who will deal with your estate after you have died and, perhaps more importantly, who will benefit. For more information please call 0114 218 4000, email info@tayloremmet.co.uk or complete this form.

Article written by

Richard is a partner in our wills, probate, tax & trusts team in Sheffield. Richard worked at a local Sheffield firm for 9 years following qualification in 2000 and subsequently for 9 years at a Chesterfield based firm. For more information on this topic email richard.barlow@tayloremmet.co.uk or call him on 0114 218 4000.

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