Mark Keenan & Bethan Byrne
Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal
29 September 2014

Moving with the times

The Law Commission project ‘Intestacy and Family Provision Claims on Death’ began nearly six years ago and was subject to a lengthy period of consultation. The project considered the areas of intestacy and family provision where it was felt that the current statutes did not reflect the modern family, particularly as studies had shown that more than two thirds of the adult population did not have a will. Accompanying the report were two draft bills, the Inheritance and Trustees ’Powers Bill and the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill. Only the former was to come into effect. The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act (ITPA) received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and the anticipated commencement date is 1 October 2014. The ITPA makes a number of changes to the current intestacy rules in relation to provision for a surviving spouse and the definition of chattels. For the purposes of this article we are focusing on the changes to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act) and we will consider what impact these changes will have for the would-be claimant.

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