New intestacy rules coming into force on October 1st emphasize the need to turn to a qualified solicitor for the writing of your will.

As reported in the Law Society Gazette, October 1st will see new provisions in the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 alter the way a person’s estate will be divided, should they die without a valid will.

The provisions will stipulate that should the deceased person have a spouse or civil partner but no children, their surviving partner would inherit everything. This is at variance with current policy whereby the surviving partner must share the estate with the deceased’s surviving parents or siblings.

Should the deceased have children, the surviving partner would receive the statutory legacy of £250,000 plus the deceased’s personal belongings and half of the estate.

Other changes include the alteration of the position of adopted children, ensuring that they do not lose any potential claim to inheritance; and the broadening of those who may make a claim to an estate to include persons ‘treated as a child of the family.’

Additionally, the statutory legacy will now rise, at least every five years, in line with the consumer prices index.

As Andrew Caplen, president of the Law Society, said: ‘The changes to the intestacy rules serve as a reminder of the importance of having a will. Dying without a valid will not only means your final wishes may go unheeded, but a financial and emotional mess is left for your loved ones to sort out. This need not be your final legacy.

‘We urge people to use a qualified, insured solicitor because they are trained to spot and address the issues that could lead to trouble later.’

For the full story, visit The Law Society Gazette.

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