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A very informative guide written by LittleMrMike
What is a beneficial interest in a property?
The estate of a person dying intestate is charged with a fixed sum (the statutory legacy) in favour of the person’s surviving spouse or civil partner. This Order increases the statutory legacy from £125,000 to £250,000 where the intestate is survived by issue, and from £200,000 to £450,000 where there is no surviving issue but the intestate is survived by certain close relatives.
By virtue of section 1(3) of the Family Provision Act 1966, this Order supersedes the Family Provision (Intestate Succession) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993/2906) in relation to the estate of a person dying on or after 1st February 2009
Made: 28th January 2009
Coming into force: 1st February 2009
This is an area which often creates misunderstandings. The fact is that, usually, if an inheritance has been received before the divorce, then it forms part of what is in the pot and available for division.
It will be a resource; when it comes to dividing who gets what, it will be relevant.
Of course, it is important to acknowledge that the money or property came from one family rather than the other.
When considering the capital resources of the family, the central issue is usually the family home.
After resolving the short-term maintenance arrangements, it will often be the first issue that has to be dealt with.
What happens to the home is likely to be a central part of any financial settlement.
Maintenance orders, Lump sum orders, Transfers of property and Pension Sharing Orders
This article contains a fuller description each of these.
When a marriage has broken down the court has the power to make any orders about finances or property which seem to the court to be just, including maintenance orders. The court will look at every bit of property or capital owned by the husband or wife.
Each spouse must complete a document which gives a comprehensive account of his or her financial position. The court then looks at the facts of the particular marriage to help it decide what orders it can make which will be fair to everyone. When it does so, it has to keep in mind that if there are any children of the marriage, the interests of those children will be the most important consideration. This often means that the parent with children living with him or her will be more likely to keep the home, at least until the children have all finished their full-time education.
Many couples do not make any changes to their banking arrangements until financial negotiations are well advanced.
But if there is a risk that large sums may be drawn out - or if there is a risk that credit or charge cards may be used inappropriately - then it may be safer to take action to prevent this.
The danger is that if an account or credit card is suddenly frozen, solicitors may be involved immediately to ask for maintenance arrangements to be set up - perhaps through the courts. This may be an unforeseen and costly consequence.
Much depends on whether you can trust each other enough to leave things as they are. If you need to rearrange the accounts on separation we recommend that you try to agree those changes first. Think about mediation.
You may have read in the papers about 'big money' cases - where the assets available for division clearly exceed the parties' needs - have focused on the concept of equality of outcome. Contributions to the running of the home and the bringing up of children are valued equally by the court on divorce to contributions made by earned income. There may be other considerations -