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Intestacy rules can leave couples with financial headache

It’s a common misconception that if you’re married and die without making a will, your surviving partner will inherit your estate.

In fact, intestacy rules (i.e. the rules governing what happens to wealth where there is no will) state that only the first £250,000 of an estate will pass automatically to the surviving spouse.

Beyond that, the surviving partner  gets all the personal possessions and is only entitled to  a“life interest” in half of the remainder of the estate. This might include the interest (but not the proceeds) from the sale of the marital home which would be payable until the time of death, after which the remainder of the estate would pass to any children.

This can leave surviving spouses with a financial headache when it is least expected and at a time when they are least able to cope with the turmoil of sorting out their partner’s estate.

Even if you’re married, making a will remains the only way to ensure your loved ones inherit your entire assets when you die.

For more information, contact me at our Brighouse office on 01484 710 571 or contact any one of our Wills and Probate experts in Halifax and Huddersfield.

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