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Inheritance Laws Simplified

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New laws simplifying what happens when someone dies without leaving a will came into force on 1st October this year.

Robert Webb, Partner and Head of the Wills, Trust and Probate department at Chattertons said, “The changes to the law are designed to speed up and modernise the process of dividing the money, property and other assets of a person who dies without a will (intestate)”.

The reforms bring the law into line with the expectations of modern society and will make the process easier to manage for relatives and friends.

The changes, made in the new Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act, include:

  • When someone who has no children dies intestate, their whole estate will pass to their spouse. Before today’s changes a complex set of rules has been used which also, in some circumstances, allocated parts of the estate to other family members.
  • When someone dies intestate and they do have children, the way their estate is split between their spouse and children will be simplified. This has also previously been subject to a complex set of rules.
  • Closing a loophole to make sure children who are adopted don’t lose their inheritance after their parent’s death.

If you would like advice about your Will or someone who has died intestate, call Robert on 01529 411500 for further information.