Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 – Find out how it could affect you

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 (the ‘Act’) will come into force on the 1st October 2014. The Act makes various changes to the intestacy rules, the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and the powers for trustees to apply income and capital in sections 31 and 32 of the Trustee Act 1925.

Many of the changes are designed to bring the law up to date with changes that are already made in professionally prepared documents. Some changes will only affect documents prepared from the 1st October 2014 whereas others will apply retrospectively.

One major change is that the Act modernises the definition of personal chattels for Wills. The new definition will only apply to Wills made from the 1st October 2014. Wills made before this date will still make reference to the definition contained in the Administration of Estates Act 1925. Please speak to the Private Client department about incorporating the new definition into your Will.

The Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 allows an individual who believes they should have benefitted from your Will, because they were maintained by you during your lifetime, to make a claim against your estate. It is worth bearing this in mind before making a Will especially if you are considering leaving out a close family member. Our private client team can provide you with more information and advice.

Trustees should be aware of the changes brought about to the power to apply income and capital. In the majority of cases the Act will not bring about any change to the trust because the statutory wording will have been amended. However, not every document will have been prepared in this way and trustees should find out if they will be affected by these changes.

If you have any questions about the changes that will be introduced by the Act or believe that it may affect you in some way, please contact the Private Client department who will be happy to assist you.

Katie Ward
Private Client Team