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Consultation on the draft Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill. This Bill gives effect to the recommendations in parts 2 to 7 of the Law Commission’s report, ‘Intestacy and family provision claims on death’.
The consultation is aimed at those with an interest in succession law, probate and private international law, in particular practitioners, professional groups and academics, in England and Wales.
In 2008, the Law Commission began work on a project considering 2 areas of the law of inheritance and certain aspects of trustees’ powers:
Intestacy: when a person dies ‘intestate’, that is without leaving a valid will disposing of the whole of his or her property, the distribution of any money and other assets (the deceased’s ‘estate’) among surviving family members is governed by a set of legal rules known as the intestacy rules.
Family provision: whether or not the deceased left a will, certain family members and dependants may apply to court for reasonable financial provision from the estate, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (‘the 1975 Act’). This is often referred to as a claim for family provision.
These are both important areas of the law, affecting a large number of families at times of financial and emotional vulnerability.
Studies suggest that around half and two thirds of the adult population do not have a will and that those who need one most are the least likely to have made one. The intestacy rules must strive to reflect the needs and expectations of modern families.