WILL DRAFTING - CHANGES TO INTESTACY RULES
If you die without leaving a valid will your estate (everything you own) has to be shared out in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.Due to The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014) as from 1st October 2014 the way in which the assets of people who die without wills are shared between their relatives has changed.
From 1st October 2014 spouses and civil partners have new inheritance rights under the intestacy rules, as well as adopted children, unmarried fathers and other family members and dependents. There are also changes to the powers trustees have to deal with the capital and income of trusts
Due to the new intestacy rules a spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner may inherit the whole of the deceased’s estate. Although, if the deceased also leaves children the estate has to be shared between the surviving spouse/civil partner and the children.
Further changes are that under the old rules survivors were entitled to receive an amount called the statutory legacy. This was a fixed sum of £250,000 where there were surviving children or £450,000 if there were no children. Under the new rules the statutory legacy will be reviewed (at least every five years) and rise in line with the Consumer Prices Index.
There are also new inheritance rights for unmarried fathers as under the old rules where a child died whose parents were not married the child’s estate was to be distributed as if the child’s father and had died before the child. Under the new rules this will not apply if the child’s father’s name appears on the child's birth certificate.
There are also new rules to make it easier for dependants to claim financial support from a deceased partner or parent if they would not receive anything under the intestacy rules.
The new intestacy rules also allow trustees to use all of the capital and income of a trust for the benefit of beneficiaries, compared to only half the capital and income under the old rules.
Nevertheless, it is still sensible to have a will drafted so that you can ensure your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes when you die and in order to provide the trustees of your estate with additional authority to deal with your estate as you wish. This is especially the case if you do not wish for your estate to be dealt with in accordance with the strict intestacy rules or wish to leave a particular item, such as an amount of money, watch, wedding ring, house or shares etc, to a particular person.
If you contact Andrew Veitch (firstname.lastname@example.org) he may be willing to review your financial circumstances and the way you propose to distribute your estate free of charge in order to provide an estimate of fees for drafting your will.
This blog provides basic general legal information to help people understand their legal rights, but is not a substitute for personal legal advice from a solicitor. By the very nature of a blog the information published in blog posts on this site may be out of date. Therefore this blog is subject to our following disclaimer and conditions of use: Where no personal consultation has taken place with Andrew Veitch or the partners or employees of Guy Clapham & Co under no circumstances will Andrew Veitch or the partners of Guy Clapham & Co be responsible for (1) any information contained in, omitted or received from this site, (2) any persons reliance on any such information, whether or not the information is correct, current or complete, (3) the consequences of any action you or any other person takes or fails to take, whether or not based on information provided (4)