Rules of intestacy set to change
Proposals have been made to alter the English rules of intestacy, which could place children and relatives of the deceased at a disadvantage.
If the first parent or civil partner should die without having made a will, their estate will subsequently be distributed, according to the rules of intestacy. Currently, this means that, depending on surviving relatives – children, cousins or parents could be set to inherit a large portion of the estate. Under the new rules however, the surviving spouse or civil partner will benefit from the majority of the estate.
Where there are no children in existence, the other partner will become the sole beneficiary. Siblings and other relatives will no longer automatically be considered as key beneficiaries.
With the consultation due to end later this week, then should this new legislation come into force, those who have separated yet not divorced should consider making a will, to avoid giving the bulk of their estate to their estranged spouse, in the event of their death. Read more about dying intesate on our dedicated intestate page.