Statutory Legacy Changes 2023 – Important Information You Should Know About
Recent studies suggest that over half of UK adults do not have a valid Will in place. If you do not have a Will, this is known as “dying intestate”, meaning all of your property and belongings passes under a set of rules called “the rules of intestacy”. These rules will ultimately decide what happens to your estate and your loved ones.
Under the current rules, the Statutory Legacy is the sum the surviving spouse or civil partner, of a person who passes away without a Will and has children, is entitled to receive. Any remainder of the estate is then shared between the spouse and their children. Currently, the Statutory Legacy sum is £270,000 with this figure last being reviewed in 2020.
From the 26th July 2023, to accommodate for the rate of inflation increasing dramatically since the Statutory Legacy was last revised, the Statutory Legacy sum will increase to £322,000.
Although the rules of intestacy allow certain family members to be provided for, without a Will, it is not possible for an individual to make express wishes as to how they would like their assets distributed when they pass away. While the increased statutory legacy is intended to support surviving partners, it is crucial to understand that it may not always align with an individual’s specific wishes. Having a valid Will in place therefore allows individuals to exercise greater control over the distribution of their assets.
Not only does creating a Will provide peace of mind by knowing that your wishes will be respected and your loved ones will be provided for after your passing, it can also help prevent potential disputes among family members regarding the distribution of assets.
Furthermore, a valid Will allows for specific bequests to be left to individuals, such as sums of money or particular items of sentimental value. When it comes to tax planning, a well written Will can help minimise the tax burden on your estate, potentially saving your beneficiaries from unnecessary tax liabilities. Professional advice can ensure your Will incorporates effective tax planning strategies.
Here at the Jonathan Lea Network, our Private Client team have a wealth of experience drafting simple and complex Wills. Our senior Trust and Estates Practitioner, Eloise Mackenzie, will be able to guide you through the Will writing and estate planning process and can offer pragmatic and tailored advice for your needs. We will be able to ensure that your Will includes provision for those that you love and any specific financial requests or otherwise that can be accommodated for.
If you would like to get in touch to arrange a complimentary 20 minute no obligation call, we would be delighted to hear from you.