Am I entitled to inherit my parent’s share of my grandparent’s estate?
We are often asked whether a grandchild is entitled to inherit their grandparent’s estate if their own parent dies first. Solicitor Chris Green looks at the legal principles that apply when this situation arises. For further guidance on inheriting from your grandparent’s estate call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1606 or email us at [email protected]
Where your grandparent left a will
Where the grandparent’s will leaves a legacy to a child who predeceases them then, unless the will says otherwise, any children of the intended beneficiary will be entitled to the inheritance that their parent would have received had they not died.
The only circumstances in which this principle would not apply is where the grandparent’s will included a survivorship clause specifically dealing with the situation where a child of theirs dies before them and specifying that the legacy was dependant upon their child surviving them.
Where your grandparent didn’t leave a will
If a grandparent dies without making a will then the intestacy rules will apply.
Under the intestacy rules, where the grandparent dies (without leaving a spouse) their children will inherit their estate. If any of their children have predeceased them then the share of the estate they would have inherited will pass to their own children in equal shares.
Claiming under the Inheritance Act
Grandchildren can also make a claim under the Inheritance Act, either as financial dependants or where they were treated as a ‘child of the family’. The court has a wide discretion under the Inheritance Act to distribute the estate in whatever way it thinks is reasonable, so such claims are not limited by what your own parent would have inherited. Indeed, Inheritance Act claims can also be made where your own parents are still alive.