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Making a will ‘even more important’ urges lawyer

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A Shropshire lawyer is urging people to make a will following changes to the law which could affect who receives their money.

Fiona Barnes, a partner with Shrewsbury-based Wace Morgan Solicitors, says that alterations to the rights of people whose spouses or civil partners die without making a will have now come into force.

She explained: “For married couples with no children, the surviving partner will now inherit their spouse’s entire estate, rather than £450,000 then half of the rest.

“For those with children, the surviving spouse will get the first £250,000 as before, but they will now also receive half the rest – rather than just interest on that amount.

The changes apply in England and Wales and were designed to make the system fairer and address concerns that it has been “difficult for those who deserve an inheritance to get one”. However, Mrs Barnes stressed that “It is therefore essential that people make a will to ensure that their estate is divided exactly as they wish.”

The new rules, made law by the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act, include increased inheritance rights for people who were effectively stepchildren of the deceased even though their parent was not married to them.

The changes also remove a rule which meant children lost their right to inherit from a parent’s estate if they were adopted by another family after their parent’s death but before attaining a specified age. 

Wace Morgan offers a free 20 minute consultation to anyone wishing to discuss making a will.

For more information contact Fiona Barnes on 01743 280 100