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What is a grandparent Will?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

For many people the natural thing to do when making a Will is to leave everything to their spouse or partner.

The assumption is that the partner will then leave all their assets to the couple’s children who will in turn pass it on to the grandchildren – thus keeping the assets within the family down the generations.

As will be shown below, there are a number of reasons why this may not be the case in practice.

Grandparent wills can be a highly effective way of ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Why might assets not be passed to the grandchildren?

Changing family circumstances

Supposing you and your partner both make Wills with the other as sole beneficiary. Should you die and your partner remarries, their will would automatically be void. They could make a fresh will naming their new partner as their beneficiary, diverting the inheritance away from your family.

Care home costs

Rather than remarrying, it may be that the partner of the deceased eventually moves into a care home. The local authority may claim all of their property and financial assets towards the cost of their care – potentially leaving nothing for the grandchildren.

Parents’ circumstances

Even in cases where a couple’s children inherit all their assets, there is no guarantee this will be passed on to the grandchildren.

Just as a surviving spouse’s circumstances might change, so might the couple’s children experience divorce and remarriage, leading to other potential claims on the assets.

Likewise, should the children get into financial difficulties, their assets may be claimed by their creditors. Once again there may be nothing left for the grandchildren to inherit.

How does a grandparent clause protect your grandchildren’s inheritance?

Grandparents can seek advice and choose to enter into Wills with more protection, such as Right of Occupation and Life Interest Trust Wills, which see individuals leave assets to their grandchildren in the form of a trust. Should one partner die, therefore, half of the couple’s assets would be placed in trust for their grandchildren to inherit at some point in the future.

The surviving partner could still opt to leave their half of the assets to a new partner (or see them claimed in care home costs), but the other half would remain untouched until the grandchildren inherited it. Likewise, no creditor of the grandchildren’s parents could claim any money left in trust.

Other benefits of Wills containing Trusts

  • The flexible nature of grandparent Wills can save the expense of having them updated over the years.
  • Grandparent Wills allow opportunities for tax planning.
  • Grandparent wills can reduce a potential source of conflict within families and the possibility of an acrimonious and expensive legal case

Where can I find out more about grandparent Wills?

Wilson Browne has a successful track record of helping people ensure their assets are bequeathed according to their wishes.

Our expert solicitors will provide bespoke advice to offer you peace of mind and your family a secure future.

Call 0800 088 6004 or complete our online form to find out how we can help you.

Bethany Kay


Bethany Kay

Associate FCILEx

Bethany is an Associate in our Private Client Team and a FCILEx (Fellow – Chartered Legal Executives). CILEX Fellowship Grade offers Chartered Legal Executives ‘Authorised Person’ status with independent regulation. Since joining the firm in 2015, Bethany has considerable experience in dealing with all manner…