Estate Planning With an Estranged Child

A married couple with three children (14, 16, and 21) faced a unique challenge. Mr had an estranged son, aged 36, with whom he had no contact since separating from his ex-partner. The son was not financially dependent, and Mr was unsure about including him in his will.

We informed the couple that under the inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, a child of the deceased can claim reasonable financial provision for their maintenance. Despite the son's lack of financial dependency, the court would consider all circumstances if he contested the will.

To address this, we prepared wills that included a smaller percentage of the estate for the estranged son upon the second death. A crucial clause stated that if the son contested the will, his gift would be null and void. Additionally, we crafted a detailed letter of wishes explaining why the son received a smaller share than the other three children, providing a strong defence against potential claims.

This tailored solution ensured the couple's wishes were respected while protecting their estate from legal challenges.

Have questions about this case study or need advice tailored to your situation? Contact our team at Soteria Planning. Call us at 01344 531 521 or request a meeting with one of our Advisors.