Archers Law
Martin Walker

Member Article

Law firm warns of new inheritance law

A Teesside law firm is reminding people of the importance of writing a will in the light of new inheritance laws due to be introduced in October.

The changes to Intestacy rules mean that children as well as relatives including siblings and parents may no longer inherit as much from someone who dies intestate - without making a valid will - or may lose out altogether, with spouses or Civil Partners becoming the main beneficiary.

Although the new law is intended to simplify the Intestacy rules, Stockton-based Archers Law has warned that does not mean that people should put off making a will, especially where subsequent marriage or Civil Partnership arrangements have been made and there are children from a previous relationship.

Wendy Edwards, an associate solicitor within Archers’ Wills, Probate and Trusts team, said: “The changes to the Intestacy rules do make things simpler in some cases. But writing a will is a crucial task that every adult should undertake to ensure their wishes take effect.

“According to national statistics, 60 per cent of people in England and Wales die without making a will.

“But it’s a much more straight-forward process than people think and it could save your family a lot of time and potential upset in the future by just spending a little bit of time getting some advice now.”

The new rules mean that someone who dies intestate with no children, will have their entire estate distributed to their surviving spouse or Civil Partner.

If someone dies intestate with children, then the new rules mean that the personal belongings and the first £250,000 of the estate is passed automatically to their surviving spouse or Civil Partner.

Anything over and above that value will then be halved; the first half will pass to the surviving spouse or Civil Partner and the remaining half will be inherited by the deceased’s blood children once they reach the age of 18.

Miss Edwards added: “The new rules do favour spouses and Civil Partners so there may be undoubted concern around the reduction of the children’s share to a smaller pot, particularly when subsequent marriage arrangements have formed.

“The simple and straight forward solution is for every adult to make a will, don’t put it on the back burner.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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