The Law Commission Report found that the existing law of intestacy and family provision was "outdated, confusing or places unnecessary obstacles in the way of those with a valid claim to share in a deceased person's assets".
The most notable reforms made by the ITPA 2014 are as follows:
- If one of a couple who is married or in a civil partnership dies intestate, their assets will now pass to the surviving spouse in all cases where there are no children or other descendants.
- Where the deceased is survived by a spouse and children or other descendants , the sharing of assets has been simplified.
- Children who suffer the death of a parent are now protected from the risk of losing an inheritance from that parent in the event that they are adopted after death.
- The provisions which previously disadvantaged unmarried fathers when a child dies intestate have been amended.
- Claims for family provision by dependants of the deceased and anyone treated by the deceased as a child of his/her family outside the context of a marriage or civil partnership have been simplified.
- Time limits in this area have been relaxed.
Our advice to anyone is to ensure that they make a Will and keep it up-to-date so that their wishes regarding their estate are carried out rather than the rules of intestacy applying.
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