Today sees changes being introduced to the law of inheritance, with the introduction of the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act which brings in a number of new rules. Changes in the law will see an increase in spousal rights where a spouse dies and has not made a will, a change which has been welcomed by many; with the general consensus believing that the new system will be much fairer regarding the division of an estate.

Under the new legislation the surviving partner will see a significant increase in their inheritance rights. Those who are married but do not have children, will inherit the entirety of their spouse’s estate, instead of £450,000, then a further half of any remaining assets.

Those married with children will receive £250,000; the same amount as under previous legislation; but will also be entitled to half of the remaining funds. A considerable improvement instead of just receiving a life interest in the remaining assets.

However there is concern that an increase in rights could see a rise in legal disputes, particularly from children; who stand to lose a considerable amount of their inheritance under the new changes. The new legislation also provides that step children of the deceased, will also acquire inheritance rights.

The change in legislation does not undermine the importance of making a will, rather quite the opposite . With concerns already being voiced regarding a potential rise in legal disputes as the grounds for entitlement are increased, securing the rightful division of your estate is still something that can only be achieved through a carefully drafted will.

Here at Farleys our experienced solicitors specialise in the drafting of wills and can assist you in making the appropriate financial provision. Furthermore, we can also represent clients in Inheritance Act Claims, acting on behalf of those who feel that they have been wrongfully denied their inheritance, helping to ensure they receive the amount to which they are entitled. To speak with a solicitor about writing a Last Will or Testament please call Farleys Solicitors LLP on 0845 050 1958 or email us.