Being an heir or a potential heir can raise more problems than you might think.

When there is a death in the family, beyond the sadness and the funeral, there are often expectations of Hollywood style readings of the will, complete with sombre solicitors reading out the last will and testament, and an aggrieved family member berating the deceased for not leaving them a cherished heirloom.

In reality, dealing with heirs is far less dramatic, but can still be very stressful if they have not received what they were expecting from the will.

In the UK, those leaving a will are under no obligation to leave anything to anyone in particular, other than their general duty to provide for dependents such as minor children and honour any commitments that they have made.  So, simply because your parents pass away, does not automatically mean that their wills have to include you or make any provision for you.

However, in the increasing world of “the bank of mum and dad” adult children often assume that they will be provided for, and in a limited amount of circumstances, they can challenge the provisions of their parents will, no matter what their age.

If you are a parent who feels that they have given enough to their children and want to reduce the risk of them being able to make a claim against your estate for any more than you choose to leave them, then there are provisions you can put in your will that will give you extra protection.

If you are concerned that your parents have not provided for you properly in their wills you can consider whether you want to challenge it, but only after they’ve passed away!

If you don’t have a will, perhaps this will remind you of the importance of not only having one, but making sure you get proper advice on it first.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Helping you avoid taking a heir cut.