Ask the Lawyer: Will changing my gender affect my inheritance?

PinkNews brings you the latest in a series of features which sees your real questions answered by leading lawyers at Simpson Millar.

The question comes from a person who wants to change gender but is worried about how that will affect their ability to claim their inheritance.

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They ask: “My cousin passed away a few years ago, and being one of his only family members he left me 2/3 of his portfolio – the total is around £250k in a mix of stocks and bonds, and each month half the interest gained is sent to my family. When I turn 25 it will go to me and will gain greater interest up until 45 when I will gain the full amount.

“It also states in the will if I drop interest, all the savings will be sent to charity. I am trans MtF and I do wish to transition in the next few years. If I was to change my name or gender legally how would this affect the will? What would be affected?

“All the trustees in my family have stated they’re fine with me getting the money early and are fine with me being trans and gay, but legally how would I be affected if I was to change my name and gender?”

A Simpson Millar lawyer answers, saying: “What is important in this situation is that the trustees of the will identify the correct intended beneficiary – which is you in this case – to ensure that any payments are properly made to them.

“A change of name or gender should not affect the entitlement, provided of course that it is clear who the deceased person wanted to benefit from the gift.

“That said, it would, of course, make sense for any such changes to be evidenced by the appropriate legal documents – a deed poll for the change of name and a gender recognition certificate for gender.”

If you’d like to discuss your situation in more depth and what options you have, feel free to get in touch with one of Simpson Millar’s Private Client solicitors on 0800 260 5005 or click here to request a call-back.

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