Is 18 a Good Age To Inherit Your Estate?


What is a good age for a young person to receive their inheritance if both parents have died? Unless there is a Will in place that says otherwise, English law says 18 years old. It could be younger, if the child is married then they could be as young at 16 when they inherit.


Inheritance for costs of to Welfare, Maintenance and Education


Many parents I speak to want their children to be able to continue their education into university. But they are concerned their children will need money for university fees. Fortunately, the type of trust automatically created for bereaved minors allows for costs relating to maintenance, welfare and education to be paid out from the estate. This allows them to benefit from your estate without needing to inherit. This leaves the money in the care of the Trustees, whom you will have appointed in your Will.


Gifts on Special Occasions


The next thing many parents want is to be able to do is give their children access to some of their inheritance. This may be on a special occasion such as their 18th or 21st birthday or graduation. The first two of these options are possible. Giving a fixed amount or more usually a percentage of your estate at these ages is quite normal. The balance is given at a later date.


Making a conditional gift, such as on graduation, is more tricky. What happens if your child decides not to go to college or university for whatever reason? In this scenario, you may wish to leave this type of gift out of the Will and include it in a letter of wish. Whilst this does not have the legal enforceability of a testamentary gift. It does give the trustees the flexibility they may need to adapt to the changes in your child’s life.


For more information on how to protect your children using a Will please contact us or call me on 050 594 5217