When someone dies Intestate, it means they have not made a Will and administration of the estate does not automatically follow without an Administrator being selected.

The rules for managing this are covered under the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act that was introduced in 2014. While it aims to provide a fair settlement for all those left behind after a loved one dies without a Will, it doesn’t work for everyone.

It’s often considered a blunt tool for settling estates which is why it’s so important to make out a Will and give everyone peace of mind.

What were The Rules?

Under the rules, if you are married or in a civil partnership, a surviving spouse with children would get the first £250,000 of the estate and 50% of the outstanding balance. The rest goes to the children.

If there are no children, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse or partner.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership, the settlement can be a lot more complicated. Claims for unmarried couples under the scheme are often normally limited to maintenance only and it usually involves going to court to put forward a case and the cost and uncertainty that this involves. When you consider that the vast majority of an estate for most people is tied up in property, this can certainly lead to problems.

The rules are reviewed on regular occasions to make sure they are fit for purpose. The previous £250,000 for the spouse will increase to £270,000 from 6th February 2020.

Why it’s Important to Have a valid Will

Obviously, dying intestate presents certain problems for settling your estate with or without the new rules. It can often mean that your property and assets don’t all go to the person or persons that you intended. While intestacy law is probably as good as it can be at the moment, it doesn’t provide a satisfactory outcome for all parties.

The only way to really overcome this issue is to make sure that you have a Will that outlines your complete wishes and ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. While thinking about a time when you are no longer here can be difficult, it’s relatively simple to set up a Will and get the peace of mind that you need.

  • A Will is designed to legally protect all your loved ones including your spouse, children and your assets.
  • It provides a framework for how your estate is handled once you pass on.
  • You can choose who is able to execute your will and help make a difficult time for your family easier to manage.

Those that die Intestate essentially leave their loved ones with no other option than to let the Law decide. This can create uncertainty and take a good deal of time to resolve, especially if the estate is complicated.

How Forster Dean Can Help

Forster Dean are your local experts in Wills and Probate matters. Not only can we help you put together your Will but we can handle any issues surrounding its settlement once you have passed on. You can be confident that you have a legal document that is fit for purpose and gives you complete peace of mind. We have offices in St Helens, Widnes and Runcorn; get in touch today for expert advice.