Intestacy Rules Updated

30th January 2020

On Thursday 6th February 2020, a small change will be made to the way in which some estates are divided when someone dies without making a will.

When someone dies without a valid will, the “Intestacy Rules” determine who will inherit from them and who has the right to administer their estate. How much of their estate will be inherited by their partner, children and other close relatives is set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925, which has been updated from time to time since then.

From October 2014, where the deceased person has a surviving husband, wife or Civil Partner, and children, the “spouse” would inherit a legacy of £250,000 and half of the remaining estate, with the other half going to their children. Spouses or Civil Partners will also inherit all the deceased’s personal property.

That legacy will increase to £270,000 from 6th February, to reflect the increase in Consumer Prices Index. The government raises the amount partners can inherit every five years, which makes this amendment five months overdue.

Whilst this amendment is very much welcomed, it is not the significant change in “the Intestacy Rules” that campaigners have wanted for many years. It is important to remember that under “the Intestacy Rules” partners who have not married or entered a Civil Partnership do not inherit from each other and need to make wills.

You also need a will to make provision for close friends, charities and relatives who are not in a direct blood relationship with you, to appoint guardians for your children and to choose who your executors will be.

If you would like to ensure that your estate is inherited exactly as you would choose, you can find out more about Wills here. Get in contact with one of our team at or call 01392 424242.