With effect from 1 October 2014 a new piece of legislation called “The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014” comes into force abolishing previous rules established in 1925. These relate to persons who die without leaving a Will.
From the beginning of this month where a person dies without a Will and leaves a spouse (or civil partner ) and children, then the surviving spouse or civil partner will inherit the first £250k of the estate plus the deceased’s personal chattels. They will also inherit one half of the balance of the estate outright whilst the remaining half will be inherited by the children or other descendants of the deceased person.
If the deceased person had no children or descendants then the whole estate would be inherited by the spouse or civil partner.
Personal chattels have been redefined to include all tangible movable property except for money,securities for money,property used mainly for business purposes or property held solely for investment.
These rules apply to estranged spouses or civil partners which makes it even more imperative for a Will to be created when a marriage breaks down.
Once again the importance of making a Will upon the acquisition of an asset ,marriage and the start of a family is essential for all concerned