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Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

Law Society welcomes delayed £20,000 rise in statutory legacy

Law Society welcomes delayed £20,000 rise in statutory legacy


The Law Society has voiced its approval for the announcement that there will be a £20,000 rise in the statutory legacy that a surviving partner is entitled to if their spouse or civil partner dies intestate with children.

The rate is usually raised in line with the consumer price index at least every five years, however the political instability and general election at the end of 2019 delayed an update.

The last statutory legacy rate was set on 11 October 2014 at £250,000. Earlier this week the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland confirmed it would rise to £270,000 from 6 February 2020.

Despite the news being welcomed by The Law Society, which had called on the government to make the overdue rise, Law Society president Simon Davis warned: “Many people are unaware that under intestacy laws, unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit.”

Under intestacy rules if the deceased has 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, with the other half passing to their children.