Chelsea 0207 228 2020

Knightsbridge 0207 095 0930

Forfeiture Rule and Law of Succession Act

Following a Commencement Order made on 1 December 2011, the Estates of Deceased Persons (Forfeiture Rule and Law of Succession) Act 2011 will come into force on 1 February 2012. The Act introduces two amendments to the intestacy rules.

Firstly, the Act amends the current Law by treating any individual who disclaims their inheritance, or forfeits their right to their inheritance by killing the deceased, as having died immediately before the intestate deceased. The result of this change is that the inheritance to which the individual is no longer entitled, will pass to the next person listed in section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925.

The Act will not prevent the court from exercising its power under section 2 of the Forfeiture Act 1982 to modify the effect of the forfeiture rule where the offender has not been convicted of murder.

The second change introduced by the Act concerns minor children of the intestate deceased. At present, if a child of an intestate dies without having married or formed a civil partnership but leaves children, their children are unable to inherit their parent’s share of the intestate’s estate as the parent did not attain a vested interest in the intestate’s estate. The Act amends this situation by treating the child of the intestate as having died immediately before the intestate, hence enabling the children of the deceased minor to inherit their parent’s share of the intestate’s estate.

The Act will only apply to deaths which occur after 1 February 2012.

It is considered that this Act corrects some outdated concepts in this area of law. The outcome for many children prior to this Act was regarded by many as out of sync with public opinion and inequitable to those it affects.

If you would like any further information in relation to this Act, please contact Leon Kaye Solicitors on Tel. 020 7228 2020 or 020 7095 0930 or email info@leonkaye.co.uk.