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Draft Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill published

Consultation on the draft financial provision legislation launched

 The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the draft Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Bill. This Bill gives effect to the recommendations in parts 2–7 of the Law Commission's report, Intestacy and family provision claims on death. The provisions in respect of family provision will be of particular interest to family lawyers. The Bill can be accessed from the foot of the linked page on the Ministry of Justice website.

The Ministry of Justice is concerned that where the rules (or the deceased's will) fail to make adequate provision for close family members or dependants, it is important that the law does not place unnecessary obstacles in the way of a valid family provision claim.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has not been the subject of a full review since it was enacted.

In October 2009, the Commission published a consultation paper reviewing the current law, discussing options for reform and putting forward questions for consultees, including provisional proposals for reform.

In May 2011, a supplementary consultation paper followed that set out broader options for reform of statutory provisions which enable trustees to distribute income or capital from the trust fund to or for the benefit of beneficiaries who are not yet entitled to take such funds outright.

The resulting report, Inheritance and family provision claims on death, was published on 14 December 2011. It sets out and explains recommendations for reform of the law and presents two draft Bills to implement the necessary changes, the first of which is the Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Bill that is the subject of this consultation.

The draft Bill can be downloaded and the consultation response can be completed here.