Leaving a legacy to your child? Have you considered what happens if they pass away before you?

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”7038″ img_size=”370×370″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A recent decision in the High Court reviewed by Contentious Probate expert Guy Platon illustrated the Court’s approach to the operation of a Will where a beneficiary child of the will maker passes away before their parent.

Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 is clearly a very old law and determines that where a will leaves a legacy to a child (or remoter descendant) and that child dies before the testator leaving at least one child, then that child or children will take the legacy, unless there is a contrary intention in the Will.

This means that where there is a Will, a share intended for a child that dies before the will maker will then pass to the children of the intended beneficiary unless the Will states otherwise.

The facts of this case were that the will maker, who was the Claimant’s grandmother, died in April but her daughter (the Claimant’s mother) had sadly died 3 months earlier.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Claimant sought to rely on section 33 and argue that she was entitled to her mother’s share (which was a half share alongside her brother, the Claimant’s uncle).

The Claimant’s Uncle took the position that this was not in accordance with his mother’s wishes or her instructions to the Will draftsman.

The Court held that any contrary intention had to be in the Will itself, although there are some limited exceptions to this, and further that the wording in the Will was not sufficient to exclude section 33. The granddaughter was awarded the legacy intended for her mother.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”Got Your Back” style=”outline” color=”juicy-pink”]If you are looking to create your will, it is imperative that this clearly details your intentions.  If not then you could risk losing control of your estate and may be leaving your Will open to disputes and litigation. The best way to avoid this is to have Your Will professionally drafted and our team of experts can help you.

Furthermore, if you are in dispute over the validity of a Will, we can help. Guy is a Solicitor in our Contentious Probate Department and specialises in disputes arising from inheritance and probate, including the interpretation of Wills.

He can be contacted directly on guy.platon@watsonramsbottom.com, or by telephone at 01254 67 22 22. Alternatively you can talk to us via live chat or complete our online enquiry form and one of our experts will contact you[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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