Changes to who inherits what when a person dies without leaving a Will (Intestate) and who can claim on a deceased person’s estate

Changes to who inherits what when a person dies without leaving a Will (Intestate) and who can claim on a deceased person’s estate

The Inheritance and Trustee Powers Act 2014 came into force on 1st October. This Act makes changes to several other Acts two of which are almost 90 years old.

Key changes are:

  1. the rules as to who inherits if someone dies without leaving a Will (intestacy), in summary more for spouses but still nothing for cohabiting partners for whom a Will is essential.
  2. the definition of ‘chattels’ or personal effects has been modernised, it no longer refers to items like carriages, horses and stable furniture. Wills that use the old definition will not need to be changed.
  3. the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 has been amended to take account of modern ‘family’ units that may exist outside traditional roles and will permit claims to be made on an estate by a person who was treated as ‘a child of the deceased’ regardless of marriage or any blood relationship and even if the child’s natural parent was deceased at the time.

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