A bill which would simplify the legal measures surrounding people who die without a valid will has received its first reading in the House of Lords.
The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill will reform existing legal provisions for inheritance on ‘intestacy’, the legal terms for individuals who die leaving assets without a valid will.
The planned reforms include:
*Measures to ensure that all marital assets pass to a surviving spouse in a marriage or civil partnership, when there are no children or other descendants of the person who has died.
*Measures to simplify the division of assets when there are children or other descendants.
*The removal of current laws which can disadvantage unmarried fathers when their children die without a will.
*The removal of current laws which can prevent adopted children from receiving an inheritance from a biological parent if they were adopted after that parent’s death.
The bill is based on a Law Commission report published in December 2011. It is expected to reach its second reading in the House of Lords on October 22 this year.