Will Writing & Law Changes to Intestacy Rules

Those kind people over at the Estate Planner’s Network have updated us on changes to intestacy rules, from October 1st, 2014. The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 comes into effect on the 1st October 2014. Listed below are a few key points that will be of interest to Will Writers & Estate Planners. To see the full legislation please visit Changes to the intestacy rules – Currently the surviving spouse or civil partner of the deceased where there are no children has to share the estate with surviving relatives of the deceased if the estate is greater than £450,000. Under the new rules the spouse or civil partner will inherit the entire estate. Where the deceased has children and the estate is worth more than £250,000 the surviving spouse/civil partner will now receive one half of the residue in full, rather than a life interest. The statutory legacy for spouses and civil partners will now rise, at least every five years, in line with the consumer prices index. Adopted children – The new laws alter the position of adopted children on the death of intestate parents to rectify an issue where adoption of a child after the death of the parent could affect a claim to their inheritance. Definition of chattels – The definition of chattels has been simplified and now reads “means tangible movable property, other than any such property which consists of money or securities for money, or was used at the death of the intestate solely or mainly for business purposes or was held at the death of the intestate solely as an investment”. Claims for dependants – Amendments are also made to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and, for example, expand the definition of who can make a claim to an estate to include a person ‘treated as a child of the family’ Where you require any help or assistance in updating or writing your will, please contact us. Related articles What Downton Abbey can teach us about dying without a...

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No Will? Rules Changes From October 2014

Intestacy laws, those that govern where your estate will go if you die without a will, are being updated and come into force on the 1st October, 2014. Depending upon your circumstances, they will either have a dramatic affect on your estate (the money and property you leave behind) or will make almost no difference to you, but which? The new rules are from the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014) and include details of how your intestate (no valid last will and testament) estate is to be distributed and how Trustees will be able to distribute income and capital to the appropriate beneficiaries. The changes apply only to individuals who are domiciled in England and Wales, when they die, and do not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland at this time. First; the intestacy rules Deceased, married, but without issue (children, grandchildren etc.) Current rules: spouse, civil partner, parents and siblings may all share New rules: spouse or civil partner inherit all absolutely Deceased, married, with children Current rules: spouse inherits all chattels absolutely, plus a life interest in possession in half of the statutory legacy (£250k) New rules: spouse inherits all of the personal movable property plus half of the statutory legacy (£250k) absolutely A life interest means that you get use of it during your lifetime, but are expected to pass it on when you die. Absolutely means you get it all now -without exception; completely; wholly; entirely. How ‘chattels’ will now be defined Personal items which are called personal property in law, replace the word ‘chattels’ and the old Administration of Estates Act, 1925. Here is the way in which the description will change: Current definition of ‘chattels’ carriages, horses, stable furniture and effects (not used for business purposes), motor cars and accessories (not used for business purposes), garden effects, domestic animals, plate, plated articles, linen, china, glass, books, pictures, prints, furniture, jewellery, articles of household or personal use or ornament, musical and scientific instruments and apparatus, wines, liquors and consumable stores, but do not include any chattels used at the death of the intestate for business purposes nor money or securities New definition of ‘chattels’ Tangible movable property, other than any such property which—consists of money or securities for money, or was used at the death of the intestate solely or mainly for business purposes, or was held at the death of the intestate solely as an...

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Why Didn’t Singer Amy Winehouse Leave a Valid Will?

Singer Amy Winehouse didn’t leave a valid last will and testament when she died. The probate court shows that she left £4,257,580, but after taxes and debts, this reduced to £2,944,544. This doesn’t account for her income in the future from CD and other music and DVD sales. The article in Forbes discusses why it is important for everyone to have a valid will which is updated regularly. Without a Will it is not known who she wanted to leave her fortune to. As she died  ‘Intestate’ there are a strict list of potential beneficiaries laid down in law by the government, which you can see in this intestacy-flow-chart from the Society of Will Writers. A valid and up to date Will gives you the opportunity to leave: the right money, to the right people, at the right time. It allows you to cut people out of receiving your money (if it’s legally correct to do so; for example, you can’t cut out young children that you’re responsible for). You can also decide who you wish to look after children under the age of eighteen if both parents should die before the children reach the age of majority. There are many advantageous tax reasons for having a valid will in place. This could save your estate from being eaten up by Inheritance Tax. A trust may be advisable for your estate, but how would you know? The sooner you are able to meet with a professional will writing adviser, then the sooner your estate planning can be in place for your security and future planning. Related articles what you didn’t know, you didn’t know about...

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