Estate planning: changes ahead

Getting to grip with life policies


New and future legislation is set to change some longstanding rules – make sure you are prepared

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 will affect many estates in England and Wales when it comes into force, probably on 1 October. It substantially changes some of the rules of intestacy, which determine how your estate is distributed if you die without a valid will. For example, the Act says the survivor of a childless married couple or civil partners, will inherit the whole estate, rather than part potentially passing to the deceased’s parents, siblings or the siblings’ children. The Act undoubtedly improves the intestacy provisions, but is still no substitute for a properly considered and drafted will.

There has also been an announcement of the ‘simplification’ of the inheritance tax treatment of most trusts. Legislation is due next year, but some changes were effective from 7 June 2014.

As often happens when ‘simplification’ is promised, some tax saving opportunities have disappeared. Full details are awaited, but it is already clear that fresh gifts into existing trusts need careful consideration. The use of trusts in wills is also likely to require review, even if you made your will before 7 June.

The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation, are subject to change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice and Will Writing.


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The information in this article does not constitute advice and should be used for informational purposes only. This content has been provided to Helm Godfrey by Taxbriefs.