The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill has received royal assent and will come into force on 1 October 2014. The Bill simplifies the intestacy rules for England and Wales, in particular abolishing the spousal life interest trust.
From 1st October 2014, if a person dies without having made a will, leaving a surviving spouse or civil partner but no children, the surviving spouse will inherit everything. Currently, if the deceased leaves no children the surviving spouse shares the estate with the deceased’s parents and siblings.
Where there are surviving children and a surviving spouse, the spouse will receive the ‘Statutory Legacy’ of £250,000 (this will rise in line with CPI at least every 5 year), the personal belongings and half of everything else outright. The children then get the remaining half share on trust until they reach the age of 18. Before the spouse would only be entitled to the income of the half share which on her/his death would pass to the children.
Not leaving a Will that is reflective of your wishes could result in your estate not being passed on to who you would like and could result in tax being paid un-necessarily.
If you wish to review your Will or put one in place, please contact Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or email email@example.com.