Although there has been an increase to Statutory Legacy, being the amount of your estate that your spouse will inherit if you die without leaving a will, it would be unwise to consider that the intestacy rules are adequate for your situation and to rely on this as your justification that you do not need to write a Will.
The changes mean that if you are survived by a spouse and children, your spouse will now inherit the first £270,000 of your estate plus your personal possessions, with any amount over this then being divided so that 50% of the excess passes to your spouse and the other 50% passes to your children.
However, subject to the values of the assets of your estate and how you hold those assets between you and your spouse and unintended consequence of the Intestacy rule might be that the children end up inheriting part of the matrimonial home, or some of the cash savings that between you and your spouse you had earmarked for other purposes.
If those children are also step-children to your spouse, their willingness to 'correct' the position which has arisen under intestacy, to one that your spouse regards as fair, might not be forthcoming, thus leading to family fallout and potential costly litigation.
Our advice therefore remains to put in place a Will so that it is your decision as to how your estate passes on your death, rather than relying on the default position of the rules of Intestacy dictating who gets what in the end.
Changes to intestacy rules mean the sum a spouse receives if their partner dies without leaving a will has risen by £20,000 to £270,000.