There is a belief that if you die without a Will, and you are married, it all passes to the spouse/ civil partner. In reality this is not always the case. Under the rules of intestacy, if there are no children, then the spouse/ civil partner inherits everything. However, if there are children, then the spouse/ civil partner inherits the first £250,000 of the estate and 50% of the remainder, the children inherit the other 50%.
The government have just increased the first payment to £270,000, from £250,000, from the 6th February 2020.
The UK government laid a statutory instrument on 15 January 2020, which increases the net sum that a surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to receive in England and Wales where a person dies intestate leaving issue (children).
The new legacy has been increased from GBP250,000 to GBP270,000, and will come into force on 6 February. The formal title is the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net Sum) Order 2020.
Under the rules of intestacy, if there are no children, then the spouse or civil partner will inherit the whole estate. However, if there are children, then the spouse or civil partner will be entitled to all of the deceaseds personal property, the first GBP270,000 of the estate and 50 per cent of the remainder, leaving 50 per cent to be divided equally between the children.