Any Wills that have been made since 4 April 2005 could be affected if a beneficiary has changed gender.
Prior to 2005, anything that was left in a Will to someone of a specific gender was not affected if they changed gender.
For example, if you left 60% of your estate to your sons and 40% to your daughters and your son changed gender to a female, your son would still have inherited their share of 60%.
However, if the same were left in a Will made over the last 13 years, the son would receive a share of 40% rather than 60%.
If your Will contains any gender-specific legacies, if you have treated your beneficiaries unequally by reference to their gender or, if you hear that a beneficiary is looking to change gender, you may wish to review and update your Will accordingly so that their gift is not affected by a change in gender.
If you have simply used ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ as identifiers and have named your beneficiaries, then a change in gender should not affect any legacies in your Will. It is important to ensure your Will is up-to-date and still reflects your wishes. We contact our clients every three years and offer a complimentary review.
If you would like to meet with one of our Consultants to discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other Estate Planning topic please telephone 01732 868190 or click here.