grandparent wills – do they exist?

Here at Expression Wills, we are passionate about providing our customers with honest, accurate advice and with this in mind, we also love to do some myth-busting too! When you search online, you will find a whole host of information which often makes you think about what you should be doing, what you don’t have and what you need and these feelings can sometimes lead to rushed decisions which we all want to avoid. 

Grandparent wills are a good example – if you search for them, you will find lots of information which will make you think they are a separate type of will that you need, whereas the truth is just that, as a grandparent, you’ll want to include your grandchildren in your will and ensure they are looked after.

As your family changes and expands, it’s always a good idea to review and refresh your will. As a grandparent, you can choose to leave certain assets or possessions to your grandchildren and also take some other steps to protect your family’s inheritance, which we will explore below.

What is a grandparent will?

As we’ve explained, although there aren’t wills specifically for grandparents, you can ensure that in your will, your children, grandchildren and future generations receive the inheritance that you want them to receive. 

As a grandparent, having a will reduces the risk that your hard-earned wealth ends up outside the family. Whether you want all assets divided equally between your beneficiaries or allocated individually, it’s entirely up to you.

If I leave my estate to my children, won’t my grandchildren get it in the end?

This is a common misconception about wills – that anything you leave to your children will automatically pass to their children when they die. In fact, there are risks that your wealth will not end up being passed on. 

If you die intestate (meaning you have no will), the way your wealth is divided is decided by the Rules of Intestacy. These are part of a fairly outdated system which fails to allow for modern family dynamics. 

Even with a simple will, some of the third parties that may end up receiving your wealth indirectly include: 

  • An ex son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • Future new step-parents to your grandchildren
  • Your children’s creditors
  • Your child’s stepchildren
  • HMRC 
  • A Local Authority

How can I make sure that my grandchildren receive my assets?

You can protect your children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance by placing the funds into a Trust. Trust money can only be used by named Trust Beneficiaries.

Setting up these trusts is a central part of creating a will as a grandparent, meaning that your children and their descendants have total access to the money you want for them. Meanwhile, ‘hostile third parties’ can’t gain access to the Trust. 

You can place all kinds of assets in a Trust, including money, property, shares and possessions. Setting one up is a legal process, where you decide how you want the assets to be released and appoint trustees to make sure your wishes are followed. 

As a grandparent, is it a good idea to have a will?

Having a will as a grandparent can make good financial sense in many situations. One of the most comforting elements is that your money is protected from ending up outside your family.

Many couples set up Mirror Wills, where if one person passes away, the other inherits all their assets. But if the widowed partner goes on to marry again, your wealth could end up with the new partner, reducing the inheritance for your children. 

Similarly, if your partner needs to enter a care environment, your children’s inheritance could end up in the hands of the local authority to fund elderly care fees. Creating a will can prevent these two scenarios and many others.  

How do I make a will as a grandparent?

It may be tempting to write your own do-it-yourself will. This is a risky approach, because if you make any errors the will is not legally valid. It is not very costly to seek professional help, and this will make sure that everything has been considered and your children and grandchildren will have clear instructions about their inheritance. 

Seeking advice will also cover other potential areas of estate planning, including Powers of Attorney, wishes for your funeral, provisions for pets and inheritance tax planning.

How can Expression Wills help me?

Expression Wills is a professional source of legal advice, specialising in wills and estate planning. We will explain the whole will-making process to you and talk to you about your specific situation to provide tailored recommendations. 

We will explore all aspects of estate planning, including wills, Powers of Attorney and ways to protect your children and grandchildren from paying more Inheritance Tax than is necessary.

Your initial consultation with Expression Wills is completely free, so get in touch to explore how we can help you.

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Laura and Dave

Claire has been really helpful throughout the process. She was particularly supportive in helping us decide who to appoint as guardians and trustees and gave us lots of insightful information to help us make the right decision for our family. We have been really happy with the service and would highly recommend Expression Wills.

thomas templar

I used Expression wills to take out my first will, Claire was very knowledgeable and the process was effortless. I would highly recommend Claire and Expression wills to anyone who needed a will.

Craig Brewer

Had wills completed for myself and my partner, we were already stressed as this was in the middle of our house purchase/sale but Claire made the whole process a breeze. Very informative and helpful every step of the way. Would definitely recommend to anybody thinking of getting a will done