Expert Wills & Trusts Solicitor welcomes modern updates to legislation

cropped-Stuart-Maher.jpgWatson Ramsbottom Director Stuart Maher TEP, has welcomed the changes to legislation surrounding Wills, Trusts and Inheritance which will come into force on 1st October 2014 via the Inheritance & Trustees Powers Act 2014.

Stuart, who heads the Watson Ramsbottom Wills, Trusts & Probate team and is an accredited member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) explains “ the changes to be introduced from 1st October will see the currently antiquated definitions for personal possessions or ‘personal chattels’ updated to much more modern terms in keeping with today’s society. Whilst we still have the situation where so many people make the mistake of not having an up to date will in place, bringing the language used in the will writing process up to date is a welcome change.’

In detail, the existing definitions used are:-

“Personal chattels” mean carriages, horses, stable furniture and effects (not used for business purposes), motor cars and accessories (not used for business purposes), garden effects, domestic animals, plate, plated articles, linen, china, glass, books, pictures, prints, furniture, jewellery, articles of household or personal use or ornament, musical and scientific instruments and apparatus, wines, liquors and consumable stores, but do not include any chattels used at the death of the intestate for business purposes nor money or securities for money:

The new definition will see this updated to:

Personal chattels” means tangible movable property, other than any such property which—

  • consists of money or securities for money, or
  • was used at the death of the intestate solely or mainly for business purposes, or
  • was held at the death of the intestate solely as an investment:”.

Changes to entitlement on intestacy

The Act also brings in further changes to the entitlement of the surviving spouse in circumstances where the deceased has not left a valid will.

The limit of the statutory legacy to a surviving spouse which applies in these circumstances will remain at just the first £250,000, with the remainder being either tied-up in trust or passing to surviving children.

‘The often harsh realities of statutory entitlements as a consequence of intestacy where no valid will exists are rarely the outcome that our clients would actually want on their deaths and yet this situation is an alarmingly common occurrence. Taking advice from a solicitor to draft your will is in most cases a simple and relatively inexpensive process and is the only way to protect your wealth for your family.

To arrange an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss matters, please contact the head of our team Stuart Maher on 01254 88 44 22 or submit our contact form.