The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014) affects the way in which assets of those people who die without making a will are shared between their relatives. Joanne Buckley of Fraser Brown Solicitors explains this in more detail.
If you die without leaving a valid will, your estate will be shared out in accordance with certain statutory provisions known as the Intestacy Rules.
ITPA 2014 gives new inheritance rights for spouses and civil partners under the Intestacy Rules.
The previous position
In cases where the deceased left a spouse/civil partner but no children, the estate in cases where the value was over £450,000, had to be shared with other relatives of the deceased, such as parents or brothers and sisters. For those people with significant assets this meant that the spouse or civil partner could only receive part of the estate.
In cases where the deceased also left children, the estate had to be shared between the surviving spouse/civil partner and the children. Under the old Intestacy Rules the surviving spouse/civil partner was only entitled to the first £250,000. Where the estate was over £250,000 the surviving spouse/civil partner was only entitled to the income for life from one half of the residue of the estate.
The new position
Under the new Intestacy Rules where there are no children, the spouse/civil partner will inherit the whole of the deceased’s estate outright.
In cases where the deceased also leaves children, the surviving spouse/civil partner are now able to receive one half of the residue in full i.e. the capital not just the income.
Do all the changes to the intestacy rules mean it is not going to be worth making a will?
ABSOLUTELY NOT – The Intestacy Rules even with the new changes are still far from perfect and for many families can still have disastrous results. It is therefore still best advice to make a Will.
For more information, please contact Fraser Brown on 01949 838 439.