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:
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 The life interest has been replaced by a simpler absolute gift.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.