As reported only yesterday by BBC News, recent changes to inheritance laws are encouraging more adults to make a will or update their existing one. The changes are the first significant ones to effect the Rules of Intestacy since they came into effect in 1925, and now declare that if a person dies without leaving a will and they are in a civil partnership or married, without children or other descendants, then their partner will receive 100% of the estate.
Previous laws dictated that if someone died without leaving a will, then the surviving partner was only guaranteed to inherit up to £450,000, and then half the rest of the estate. If an individual was succeeded by children, then the surviving partner would receive up to £250,000 and half the rest, as opposed to interest on the amount.
These changes came into effect in the light of recent research which found that 60% of adults do not have a will and 14% of individuals have no idea what will happen to their estate once they pass away, Health Insurance Daily reports. Other changes to intestacy include increased inheritance rights for effective step-children of the deceased (i.e. If their parent was not married to them), as well as the removal of a rule which stated that children lost their right to inherit from a parent's estate when they turned 18 if they were adopted by another family before then.
Clive Coleman, a legal correspondent for the BBC, noted that laws regarding inheritance had "changed little in the last century." These changes apply in both England and Wales.
Professionals from the industry have stated that these changes bring the Rules of Intestacy into the 21st century, but what do you think? Are these changes suitable for the modern age?