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Mother Prevents Son From Inheriting Wealth ‘Too Soon’

Variation of Trusts

In the recent case of Wright and another v Gater and another, a mother won her case to delay her 3 year old son receiving his inheritance.

The child was due to receive an inheritance of £750,000 on his 18th birthday.  The child’s grandfather died without a Will and his estate therefore passed to his son – the child’s father.  The father then also died without a Will meaning both estates were due to the 3 year old child.  Under the Administration of Estates Act 1925 the money would be held in trust until the child reached 18 years of age.

The child’s mother was concerned that if he received £750,000 at the age of 18 that it might corrupt him and leave him open to being taken advantage of.  She therefore argued that the money should be held in Trust until he reached 30 years of age when he would have established himself as an adult.

The judge ruled on a compromise that would see her son able to access the majority of his inheritance when he turns 25, receiving interest on the capital when he was 18 and 10% of the capital when he reached 21.

This case highlights the importance of considering carefully how to benefit minors even if they are not the original beneficiary under your Will.  If you would like information on making a Will or matters relating to Trusts please contact our Private Client Department.