27 November 2009
Inheritance law consultation opened
A consultation on inheritance legislation has been opened by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
The department, which is the government's largest and operates with an annual budget of £9.2 billion, is seeking opinions concerning a possible European Commission cross-border inheritance law.
Under the terms of the regulations, if an individual dies after moving to another country, the rules of their adopted country would apply to their estate.
One consequence of this is that the principle of clawback may be introduced into legal battles over wills in the UK.
This would mean that any lifetime gifts, depending on their value and conditions made by the individual, may be brought back into the estate for distribution among the heirs.
According to the MoJ, this could have ramifications for charities based in the UK.
It added: "Heirs of a deceased person who had made a lifetime gift to charity could insist that the gift or legacy made be clawed back into the deceased's estate."