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PLAN TO EXTEND FAMILY PROVISION CLAIMS Tuesday 10th of April 2012
The Law Commission has published two draft bills that would make significant amendments to the current law in England and Wales. The Inheritance and Trustees Powers Bill would amend the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Defendants) Act 1975 to allow a family provision claim to be brought by someone whom the deceased did not agree to maintain in life.
It would also make an intestate’s spouse or civil partner the sole beneficiary, unless there are children or other descendants. If there are children, the survivor would receive their full inheritance outright instead of partly as a life interest held in trust as happens now.
The Bill would also amend s32 of the Trustee Act 1925 to allow trustees to apply the whole beneficiary’s share of the trust asses before majority, instead of just half.
A second Bill, the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill would allow an intestate’s long term cohabitant to inherit from the estate under the intestacy rules, without bringing a 1975 Act claim.