Probate Help: When a person dies without a will (inheritance laws) effective February 1, 2009, the legacy paid to surviving spouses or civil partners increases. The limits were last increased in 1993, and was considered well delayed for review. Before 1 February 2009, if the deceased left a widow or a civil partner and children, the amount of legacy payable to the surviving civil partner or spouse is £125,000. On and from 1 February 2009 that amount was raised to £250,000. Before 1 February 2009, if the deceased leaves a surviving spouse or civil partner and parents or siblings but no children, a legacy payable to the spouse or civil partner is £ 200,000. On and from 1 February 2009, that legacy is £450,000. While the legacy has increased, an overall solution as to who benefits from intestate succession often leaves much to be desired. Here are some examples:
1. When there are no relatives available, the state takes all. In similar cases where there was written will the deceased may have nominated a charity or charities.
2. If the deceased leaves a civil partner and children or spouse that spouse/partner the spouse receives all personal property or chattels being part of the probate valuation , £250,000 if the death occurred on or after 1 February 2009 and the right to receive the capitals income of the remainder of the deceased,s estate. The other half of the deceased’s estate be divided equally between the children (including adopted and natural children ie: illegitimate, but not step children). When the surviving parent dies, the capital supporting their life interest is also transmitted to the children.
3. If the deceased leaves a spouse or civil and family, but no children, the partner/spouse receives the personal Chattels, along with the legacy of £450,000 if death occurs after 1 February 2009 and half of the remainder of the estate. Then the surviving relatives will receive half of what remains in accordance with a fixed priority list. – for example, if the parents are still alive, they will receive, but if they have died, the sisters and brothers or their descendants will receive the half share. The information here is complimentary and for guidance only, it is always advisable to professional advice from a solicitor or probate specialist, we carry a list of resources and are happy to recommend reputable firms.
Contact Jeffrey Avery for further information on 0800 567 7769