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Spouses get more cash on intestacy

Widows and widowers whose spouses die without writing a will are to receive a greater share of their estate in a reform of the statutory legacy laws.

The Ministry of Justice says that from February, surviving spouses and civil partners with children will receive up to £250,000 while those without children can receive up to £450,000.

Under the current rules, people with children receive up to £125,000 while surviving spouses and partners without children can inherit up to £200,000.

A Standard Life survey revealed last year that 50 per cent of people do not have a valid will.

Head of estate planning Julie Hutchison says: “We are dealing with a long overdue refresher of these figures. The changes are good news but people should not be complacent and rely on these statutory rules. The best thing is to have a will to make sure that your personal wishes are put into effect, rather than relying on the fixed rules of inheritance.”


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