Reviewing Your Will: Navigating Changes to the Statutory Legacy Figure

Making a will enables you to stipulate how your assets, property, and personal belongings should be distributed amongst your loved ones and beneficiaries. Without a valid will, your estate will fall under the intestacy rules, possibly resulting in an unwanted allocation, unnecessary stress and the potential for family conflict. A well-drafted will allows you to appoint guardians for any minor children, choose your Executors, and possibly reduce any tax burden thus offering peace of mind and securing your legacy for your loved ones' financial well-being.
Upon an intestacy (where someone dies without a will) the statutory legacy figure plays a vital role in ensuring that your surviving spouse or civil partner is adequately provided for upon your death.

What is the Statutory Legacy Figure?

The statutory legacy figure, also referred to as the intestacy legacy or the statutory inheritance amount, is the legal minimum amount of the estate that is guaranteed to pass to your surviving spouse or civil partner, if you die without leaving a valid will. 
In July 2023 the government passed The Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net Sum) Order 2023 increasing the current statutory legacy in cases of intestacy from £270,000 to £322,000.  
So starting from 26th July 2023, this amount will increase to £322,000, in line with inflation. 
The primary purpose of this statutory legacy figure is to provide your spouse with financial security upon your death, without a will. It recognises contributions to your marriage or civil partnership and seeks to prevent undue hardship or financial strain during an already difficult time.

What is the purpose of the Statutory Legacy Figure and what is its significance for my family?

Without a statutory legacy, intestacy laws distribute your estate according to a set hierarchy, potentially leaving your surviving spouse uncertain about their share or inheritance rights, in some cases, without any inheritance rights. This figure guarantees them a minimum portion, regardless of the presence of a will. If your estate surpasses this amount, the rest follows intestacy laws or any valid will.

What do you need to do or consider:

The laws and regulations are continually evolving, it is essential to consult with a legal professional and stay up-to-date with the latest changes to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. 

We recommend you secure your family's future by planning your estate with a will or trust, ensuring your assets are distributed as you intend. If you have an existing will or trust, an SFE lawyer would be best placed to review this on your behalf, ensuring financial care for your spouse or partner and your estate is distributed to your exact wishes rather than leaving an arbitrary sum and a division of assets to be determined by legislation.




John-Paul Dennis

Partner for Prosperity Law LLP and heads the private client department in Liverpool.

John-Paul carries out the full spectrum of private client work from estate and succession planning to probate and trust administration. 

John-Paul is a full accredited member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and an affiliate member of the Society of Trusts and Estates practitioners (STEP). He prides himself on providing clear, straightforward advice, and delivering a high level of service to all clients.

Prosperity Law LLP is a leading commercial and private client firm with offices in Manchester, Liverpool and London.