Despite the freedom in the UK for individuals to leave their estate to whomever they please, there are more challenges to wills than ever; mainly by family members.
However disappointing, it is a reality that some families of gay couples do not always accept their relative has left their estate to their gay partner, and often mount a challenge to the will. When there are informally adopted children, surrogacy and/or step-children added to the equation, they can bring further levels of complexity.
When considering making a will i.e. how you would like to share your estate, you need lawyers to provide sound advice, and a recognised will that delivers absolute clarity.
At Gay Lawyers we have extensive experience in protecting the wishes enshrined by an individual in a will, can advise on managing the tax exposure of the beneficiaries and assist with administration & probate.
It is absolutely essential that your will is drafted with total precision and addresses all eventualities, such as:
The extended family of a partner in a same-sex couple can sometimes not see eye to eye with their relative’s companion. It should be remembered, those troublesome family members could potentially benefit from your inheritance in the long-term. If this is unwelcome, steps can be taken to prevent such an eventuality.
Even greater attention must be delivered to a will involving an estate which includes a business, particularly if the business is to continue running. There may be a commercial premises involved, or the inheritance may include assets essential to the running of the business. You will have to consider how to limit the potential of a beneficiary taking essential assets out of the business, consequently impairing the ability to trade. If any of your beneficiaries are involved in the day to day running of the business this may be less likely, as they will have a vested interest in the continuation of the business.
Our lawyers will provide pragmatic commercial advice to assist you in determining how best to negotiate with your beneficiaries, without risking the business and profitability.
The vast majority of parents usually wish to leave an inheritance for their children, and whilst there is far more clarity in law regarding the unique issues surrounding assisted fertility, it’s advisable to take every precaution to make your intentions for your children’s’ inheritance clear; outlining who is to get what and why. This is particularly important should you wish to exclude an individual for any reason.