New laws simplifying what happens when someone dies without leaving a will came into force on 1st October this year. Gurvinder Sehra, a partner specialising in wills and probate matters at Kidd Rapinet’s High Wycombe office said, “The changes to the law are designed to speed up and modernise the process of dividing the money, property and other assets of a person who dies without a will (intestate)”.
The reforms bring the law into line with the expectations of modern society and will make the process easier to manage for relatives and friends.
The changes, made in the new Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act, include:
- When someone who has no children dies intestate, their whole estate will pass to their spouse. Before the latest changes a complex set of rules was used which also, in some circumstances, allocated parts of the estate to other family members.
- When someone dies intestate and they do have children, the way their estate is split between their spouse and children will be simplified. This was also previously subject to a complex set of rules.
- Closing a loophole to make sure children who are adopted don’t lose their inheritance after their parent’s death.
If you would like assistance in relation to your will, or the death of someone who died intestate, call the contact for your local office for further information:
- Aylesbury: John O’Shea (01296 432541)
- Farnham: Rebecca Panton (01252 713242)
- High Wycombe: Gurvinder Sehra (01494 535321)
- London: Rosalind Hallifax (020 7024 8030)
- Maidenhead: Alex Norris (01628 621301)
- Slough: Clare Fleming (01753 532541)