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22 July 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Opinion, Private Client

Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 expected to commence in Autumn

Posted by , Partner

The Inheritance and Trustee’s Powers Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and is expected to come into force in October.

The Act is the result of six years of work where the Law Commission has reviewed both intestacy rules and claims for family provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Key reforms include:

  • If a person dies and leaves a spouse or civil partner but no children or grandchildren, their whole estate will pass to their spouse or civil partner. Previously, parents and/or siblings would have had an entitlement in an estate worth more than £450,000.
  • Where a person dies leaving a spouse or civil partner and children or grandchildren, the spouse will receive a fixed sum of money and the residue of the estate will be divided – half for the spouse and half for the children or grandchildren. Previously, the spouse only had the income from half the residue and was not entitled to the capital which then passed to the children after his or her lifetime
  • Claims can now be made for family provision from someone else’s estate by someone who was treated as ‘a child of the family’ by the deceased even though this was not in the context of a marriage or civil partnership. Any family in which the deceased had a parental role will now count, including single-parent families.

Although the Inheritance and Trustee’s Powers Act 2014 makes a number of long overdue changes to intestacy law and family provision, it is still felt that the changes do not perhaps go far enough in catering for the needs and expectations of today’s modern family. For example, they do not recognise the Law Commission’s recommendations in relation to cohabitants.

For more information about how our specialist solicitors can advise clients on all aspects of intestacy as well as offering help and guidance on wills and estate planning for wealth maximisation, please visit or contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.

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