A brief legal guide to the inheritance rights of grandchildren in England and Wales
The inheritance rights of grandchildren in England and Wales depend upon a number of legal factors such as whether their grandparent left a legacy to their own parent who has predeceased or where a grandchild was financially dependant upon their grandparent.
Inheritance Act claims
While grandchildren are not a specified class of claimant under the Inheritance Act, they are entitled to bring a claim under the Act if they were financially dependant on a grandparent or treated as what is known as a ‘child of the family’.
If a claim is successful then there is no limit to what the court can award to ensure that the grandchild receives reasonable financial provision from the estate.
Where a grandparent’s will has left a legacy to the grandchild’s parent who has predeceased
If the grandparent’s will leaves a legacy to the grandchild’s parent who has already passed away them the grandchild, and any siblings, may be entitled to receive that legacy.
The only circumstances in which this principle will not apply is where the grandparent’s will contained a survivorship clause stating that the legacy is dependant upon their child surviving them.
Where a grandparent did not leave a will but the grandchild’s parent would have inherited under the intestacy rules had they not predeceased
The intestacy rules apply when someone passes away without making a will. Under these rules, where a grandparent dies without leaving a spouse, any children they had will be entitled to inherit. If any of those children has already died, then their share of the estate will pass to their own children, the grandchildren of the deceased, equally.
Where a grandparent’s will is disputed
A grandchild is entitled to dispute the validity of their grandparent’s will where they stand to benefit from the disputed will being declared invalid.
So, for instance, a grandchild can dispute the validity of a grandparent’s will on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence, where the estate would otherwise have passed to their own parent had they not predeceased.
For more information on the inheritance rights of grandchildren in England and Wales and details of no win, no fee funding, contact our free legal helpline on 0333 888 0404 or send an email to us at [email protected]