Could you be entitled to backdated Bereavement Support Payment (BPS) or Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA)?

Bereaved parents should check their eligibility for financial support following recent changes in the law.

The Supreme Court, in 2018, ruled that it was not in line with the European Convention on Human Rights for unmarried partners with dependent children to be unable to claim BPS / WPA.

The Law changed from February 2023 when parliament approved the Bereavement Benefits (Remedial) Order 2023.  Cohabiting couples with dependent children are now eligible for BSP and WPA to ensure equality between cohabiting couples and those in marriages / civil partnerships.

The DWP are currently taking claims for those whose partner died between 9 April 2001 and 8 February 2023.  Claims must be submitted by 8 February 2024.

Find out if you’re eligible here

Eligibility criteria for claims can be found on

The House of Commons has opened an inquiry on the Probate Registry delays

Some people may be aware that the Probate Registry has been experiencing significant delays for some time now. There are also concerns about how beneficiaries, executors and the bereaved are being supported throughout the process.

Due to the ongoing delays The House of Commons Justice Committee has opened an inquiry on the Probate Registry.

“The inquiry will take evidence on capacity, resources and delays across the probate service, and the impact of digitisation and centralisation, including the effectiveness of the online probate portal. The inquiry is interested in people’s experiences of applying for probate including how the administration of probate could be improved for people who are already coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.”UK Parliament Justice Committee.

Evidence can be submitted until Monday, 22nd January 2024. We strongly advise all interested parties to respond and explain their experiences with the Probate Registry via the link below.

Read the call for evidence and submit yours here.

No change to inheritance tax following the Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023

It was very disappointing that there were no changes to the current inheritance tax regime despite the rumours that the rate of tax was set to be reduced.  In fact, inheritance tax was not even mentioned.

Fresh reports indicate that the bad press surrounding the rumours of cuts may have influenced the Chancellor’s decision.  During a cost of living crisis, it was being negatively reported as a relief for the wealthy despite the reality being that inheritance tax is now affecting more Estates than in previous years.

The current nil rate band of £325,000 has been in place since 2009 and is frozen until 2028.  The Residence Nil Rate Band of £175,000 has not been increased since 2020 and is also frozen until 2028.

The lack of increase of the allowances is essentially a stealth tax due to the increase in the value of assets and the resultant increase in the number of Estate affected.

The current inheritance tax system is complex, and even a reform to simplify this would have been welcomed but has been overlooked once again.

Taking expert advice in relation to Estate planning during your life, and your Estate engaging expert Probate Practitioners ensures that all possible tax mitigation is ensured.

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