If you have not made a Will and die unexpectedly, your estate would be subject to the intestacy rules. These set out who will inherit your assets. If you leave a surviving spouse/CP and no children, your spouse/CP will inherit the whole of your estate. If you leave children but no surviving spouse/CP, your entire estate would be divided equally between them.

However, the position is more complex if you leave a surviving spouse/CP and children. From 6 February 2020, your spouse/CP will now receive £270,000 of your estate (increased from £250,000) and the remainder will then be split equally between them and your children.

Whilst this increase is good news for spouses/CPs, it may still leave some widows and widowers struggling. The increase also has adverse implications for children, and there are many other people (particularly unmarried partners) who will still not inherit anything at all under the intestacy rules, even if you would want them to. This may lead to them losing out, or it may lead to costly litigation – or both.

To read more about this statutory increase and the importance of making a valid Will, please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.