The event of death hit the spotlight in Mr Osborne’s recent speech. Hot off the heels of the changes proposed to pension fund death benefits came a revamp in intestacy laws in England and Wales.
New intestacy rules came into play from 1st October 2014 that will change the way you or your relatives inherit assets from loved ones who have passed without a Will.
The table below compares the old rules and new rules which are now in force: –
As can be seen above it is only married couples and civil partners who benefit from these changes. There is still no provision for non-married couples. It is possible under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for someone to challenge the distribution of an estate if they feel they have not been adequately provided for under intestacy. This can be a painful, costly, and drawn out process at a very difficult time in life and can be avoided by making a Will. The same applies to pension funds by completing a ‘Nomination of death benefits’ form.
So, the overwhelming conclusion is TAKE CONTROL over the final destination of the wealth you have worked so hard to build – it is vital you make a Will and review it regularly to ensure that those you wish to inherit your wealth actually do so. If your circumstances change you can update your Will to reflect your new circumstances and it is the latest Will that is valid.
Mark Redman Dip PFS
01633 653 189