Law change may lead to less wills being made

A planned government change to inheritance law could encourage people to overlook writing a will, legal experts have suggested.

The government is increasing the statutory legacy - the sum given to a spouse or civil partner of a dead person without a will - from £125,000 to £250,000 for those with children and from £200,000 to £450,000 for those without.

However, Julie Hutchison, an estate planner for Standard Life, told the Financial Times that the changes were "welcome", but could make people complacent about writing a will.

"It is important to write a will because if you die without a will, legal fees are higher, you have to go to court to appoint an executor - a will removes all elements of doubt," she said.

A further problem with statutory legacy is that the money may not go where you wish, with some money potentially being put in trust funds for children rather than given direct.

Earlier this year, Friends Provident found that three out of four (74 per cent) Britons do not have a will, leaving their families facing potential financial problems should they die.



Published on: September 22, 2008

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