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Partners to inherit more from intestate estates

15 January 2020

News that spouses or civil partners with children will be able to inherit £270,000 from intestate estates was today welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.

“If someone dies without making a will – also known as dying intestate – the law determines how much of their estate their partner, children and other relatives will inherit,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.

“Under intestacy rules, if there are no children, the partner will inherit the entire estate.

“If there are children, partners will inherit all of the deceased’s personal property, the first £270,000 of the estate and half of the remaining estate – the other half will go to their children.”

At least every five years, the government raises the amount partners can inherit in line with the consumer price index.*

In October 2014, the amount was set at £250,000 and it will be increased to £270,000 from 6 February 2020.** This update was originally due in October 2019.

“This increase is very welcome but many people are unaware that under intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit,” said Simon Davis.

“Writing a legally valid will with the help of an expert solicitor ensures people’s estate is inherited exactly as they would choose and can prevent a whole raft of problems landing on loved ones when they are grieving.”

Notes to editors

*The fixed net sum for intestate estates is increased via statutory instrument at least every five years. See the Schedule 1A of the Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014.

**Read the statutory instrument increasing the fixed net sum and more information on the 2014 fixed net sum. Read more information on intestacy laws from GOV.UK.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Emma Clarke | 020 8049 3743