The entry into force on 1 October 2014 of the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014 in England and Wales poses a new scenario for expats living in Spain. If they live in Spain but still own property in the UK and they are “intestate”, that is, without a valid will, their property in the UK will be devolved according to the new intestacy rules. Of course, this happens even if they have a Spanish will covering only assets in Spain. The new intestacy rules in England & Wales strengthen the position of the surviving spouse at the expense of the children. Now the spouse or civil partner will also get property of half the estate (not only a life interest over that property as it used to be the case until now). Also at the expense of parents and siblings of the intestate who are now excluded even from succession for estates worth more than £450.000 if the intestate leaves a spouse or civil partner.
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