Probate Applications

Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 received Royal approval on 14 May 2014. The Act is expected to come into force on 1 October 2014.

Intestacy Rules

This Act enforces several reforms to the current rules which apply when an individual dies intestate.

“(1) If the intestate leaves no issue:
(2) If the intestate leaves issue:
The residuary estate shall be held in trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner absolutely.
(A) The surviving spouse or civil partner shall take the personal possessions absolutely;
(B) The residuary estate of the intestate (other than the personal possessions) shall stand charged with the payment of a fixed net sum, free of death duties and costs, to the surviving spouse or civil partner, together with simple interest on it from the date of the death at the rate provided for by subsection (1A) until paid or appropriated; and
(C) Subject to providing for the sum and interest referred to in paragraph (B), the residuary estate (other than the personal possessions) shall be held—(a) as to one half, in trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner absolutely, and (b) as to the other half, on the statutory trusts for the issue of the intestate.”

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

The new Act also makes certain changes to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 which allows close family and children of the deceased to bring a claim for provision from the estate where they have not received any provisions, thereby expanding the class of people who can bring a claim.

Regarding the matter of who is entitled to bring a claim, it will be extended to include any person who was treated by the deceased as a child of the family, not only in relation to a marriage or civil partnership, but in relation to any family in which the deceased had and played a parental role. Previously the Act only allowed for close family and children of the deceased to claim for provisions from the estate. As was previously mentioned, The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 makes amendments which widen the criteria of who can bring a claim.

There have also been amendments to the provisions which apply to an individual who is viewed as being maintained by the deceased. Whereas the previous provisions provided that a person should be treated as being maintained by the deceased if the deceased was, otherwise than for full valuable consideration, making a large contribution towards that person’s reasonable needs, under the new provisions, the words “otherwise than for full valuable consideration” will be removed. This avoids the previous situation where a claim might fail where the applicant was providing for the deceased in the context of an interdependent domestic relationship.

Are you affected by the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?

If you fall under the 1975 Act and would like to discuss the amendments being made by the 2014 Act or you need legal support regarding an inheritance matter, we are able to provide legal advice and representation. Please call us today and our London Probate solicitor will be able to assist you by meeting with you and reviewing your case.

Call us on ☎ 02071830529 or email us on for more information about the legal services we provide. Our team of London lawyers are based in Middle Temple adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. We are committed to providing professional and specialist legal advice.