14 Oct 2014
Wills & Probate
Following the coming into force of the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 on 1st October 2014, people are
being urged to make sure that they have an up-to-date Will in place to safeguard their assets, including their business.
Paul Lindsey, an Associate at HardingEvans Solicitors, is warning people that if they don’t take the latest changes into account, their ex-spouse might be next in line to inherit their estates, even ahead of their children.
Paul’s comments coincide with a national consumer campaign, being led by the Law Society, which is aiming to flag up the new rules being brought in under the Act which govern how your estate will be divided if you die without having a valid Will.
If this happens and you are separated, but not divorced, your estranged partner will inherit more than your children. If you do not have children, your partner or civil partner will inherit your entire estate.
Dying without a valid Will not only means your final wishes may go unheeded, but it might mean a financial and emotional mess is left for your loved ones to sort out.
Paul said: “People often put off writing a Will but it is important to put one in place while you are healthy and capable. If you have a business, it is even more crucial to have a Will in place and we urge people to use a qualified, insured solicitor because they are trained to spot and address the issues that could lead to trouble later.
“We all recognise that legal issues can be a minefield and as such, consumers really should seek proper legal advice, rather than leaving their affairs in the hands of people who are unqualified and unregulated. People wouldn’t do something so reckless when it comes to their day-to-day business so I don’t know why they would take the risk when it comes to who they would want to take over their business when they’re gone.”
The Law Society’s consumer campaign – ‘Use a professional. Use a solicitor’ – supports this and encourages people to use a professional, regulated solicitor when making a Will. This allows people to search a database of more than 140,000 solicitors nationally by practice area and geography. Other changes as part of the Act include: Altering the position of adopted children, where they are adopted after the death of their parents, to ensure they do not lose any potential claim to inheritance.
If you would like to know more about this and other changes to the laws surrounding Wills, please contact us here.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).