Changes to the Rules on Intestacy

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 was given Royal Assent on 14 May. Its aim is to simplify and modernise intestacy and administrative issues.

Here are the main points:

Intestacy

The changes are in respect of married couples:

Married/Civil Partnership with no children

Where someone dies intestate leaving a spouse/civil partner and no children, the Act now states that the entire residuary estate will pass absolutely to the surviving spouse or civil partner

Married/Civil Partnership with children

In addition, the new Act aims to simplify the sharing of assets on intestacy where the deceased is survived by a spouse or civil partner and children. Up until now the surviving spouse or civil partner has been entitled to personal belongings and £250,000 and a life interest in ½ of the remaining estate.  The life interest has been replaced by a simpler absolute gift.

Note though that the Act does not address intestacy issues for Co Habitees.

If for any reason you do not currently have a will, we strongly recommend that you put one in place without delay.

It may also be a good time to review your wills if you drew them up some years ago.

Please call us if you want any advice regarding wills or Inheritance Tax planning.

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