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Pension arrangements causing more inheritance disputes

02nd September 2013

According to a report in the Telegraph problems with outdated “expression of wish” forms, completed by members of a pension scheme when they first join a plan, have seen a number of inheritance disputes by family members who challenge the decision of trustees following the death of a member.

Barry Parr, co-chairman of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees said that it is becoming increasingly problematic for trustees to make payment decisions on death benefits. He stressed that an up-to-date Will was important as well as a current expression of wish form.

Families who disagree with a trustee decision will take their complaint to a Pensions Ombudsman, and if the challenge goes to court, a last will and testament could be the means to decide how the pension benefits will be divided.

Mr Parr said, “Trustees do take into account a member’s wishes, but they have a duty to consider other potential beneficiaries, especially if the paperwork seems outdated. Common complexities arise when pension savers remarry and fail to update their wishes – especially where children are involved in one or both of the relationships.”

He added that an up-to-date Will could reduce the likelihood of a challenge to pension trustee decisions.

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