What are your children’s inheritance rights in the UK?

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Confused about the inheritance rights of children in the UK?

Regardless of whether you’d like to learn more about the inheritance rights of minors (children under 18 years old) or what kind of inheritance you’re entitled to following the death of your parent, the experienced inheritance lawyers at Freeman Jones Solicitors can help.

Fortunately, our expert team has years of invaluable experience helping individuals across the UK to understand the intricacies of inheritance law and how it affects them.

Does a child have a right to inheritance UK?

If you’re concerned about whether a minor (meaning a child under 18 years old) can be a beneficiary of their deceased parent’s inheritance in the UK, then the simple answer is yes, they can.

However, generally, they are not allowed to accept their inheritance until they reach 18 years of age. This is because they are deemed as not having the necessary ‘capacity’ to receive any part of a deceased’s estate before they become an adult.

In many cases, this means the share of the deceased’s estate that the minor is intended to inherit will be kept ‘in trust’ by a ‘trustee’ as named in the deceased’s will until the minor comes of age. Once they turn 18, they will be able to inherit their share.

Do children have a claim on their parents’ estate?

In the UK, the inheritance rights of children (meaning those with parents regardless of their age) are relatively simple. Individuals can choose to leave their children an inheritance in their will, but they have no legal obligation to leave any inheritance to their children.

However, according to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, both children of the deceased and those who were treated as a “child of the family” can make a claim for part of the estate if the deceased’s will doesn’t make ‘reasonable financial provision’ for them.

On the other hand, if the deceased passes without making a will, then the rules of intestacy will apply. In this instance, if the deceased has no surviving spouse or civil partner, then their children will inherit and equally split the whole of their estate.

If the deceased does have a surviving spouse or civil partner, however, then the children only have the right to inherit if the estate is valued at more than £322,000. They will each inherit an equal share of the value of the estate above £322,000.

Biological and legally adopted children are treated in the same way when it comes to inheritance and the rules of intestacy.

Can a parent leave everything to one child in the UK?

Put simply, yes, a parent can leave everything to just one child in the UK. This is because we have something called ‘complete testamentary freedom’ which allows individuals to leave their estate to anyone, regardless of their relationship.

However, these wishes must be clearly explained in a valid will by the time the deceased passes. Alternatively, if they fail to make a valid will stipulating these desires, then the rules of intestacy will apply and the estate will be split equally between all children (if the deceased has no surviving spouse or civil partner).

Learn more about the inheritance rights of children

Our professional team understand that the death of a loved one can be an emotional and stressful time for both friends and relatives, so resolving any inheritance disputes as soon as possible is crucial to preventing further distress.

Fortunately, you can receive specialist legal help from our friendly team with everything from inheritance disputes between beneficiaries to defending contested wills and other important areas of inheritance law in the UK, such as the inheritance rights of children.

So, if you’re eager to ensure your children inherit a fair share of your estate, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experienced team of inheritance solicitors at Freeman Jones Solicitors today.

To find out more about how we can help or to book your free, 20-minute, no-obligation consultation, simply give us a call on 01244 506 444.

We also welcome email enquiries sent to info@fjsolicitors.co.uk as well as queries submitted using our handy online contact form.

Alternatively, you can always pay us a visit if you live nearby to one of our Freeman Jones Solicitors branches – we have offices in Chester, Liverpool, Warrington, and Wrexham.

Upon receiving your enquiry, you can rest assured we’ll be in touch soon to find out more about your needs.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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