Many testators wish to leave gifts or a share of their estate to beneficiaries’ subject to them reaching a certain age, most often to the testator’s children and sometimes to others where they feel the beneficiary will be more mature and capable of managing an inheritance.
Various ages can be chosen and will depend on the beneficiary and their capability of handling an inheritance, or it may be governed by what the inheritance should be used for, such as to fund a wedding or pay for a planned event.
An example would be leaving a gift to someone upon them reaching the age of 21. That person will only receive the gift if they attain that age.
A child is not able to inherit under a Will until they are legally old enough to receive the funds. Until that point, their inheritance is looked after by whoever is appointed to keep the money safe (‘Trustees’)
GIFTS TO A TESTATOR’S OWN CHILDREN
If a testator makes a legacy to his own children, including illegitimate children, this may be into a Trust which is useful for a parent who has no objection to their children inheriting absolutely at 18 (in the UK)
Adopted children are, of course, classed as natural children.
Grandchildren and great grandchildren have no legal right to inherit from their grandparents. For them to inherit, they must be named in a Will.
The same applies to step-children.
The ages of majority differ from country to country. For example: UK – 18 years old, Thailand – 15 years old, Malaysia – 21 years old & Philippines – 18 years old
So if you want control over when your beneficiaries inherit your estate, you MUST make a Will.
For free advice to help you make the right decisions, please contact us
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The information above applies to Common Law and not Shariah or Civil Law