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Beneficiary is a minor

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  • Beneficiary is a minor

    Hi! If a beneficiary of a specific cash amount in a will is a minor, can the parent take parental responsibility for the amount? Or does the executor have the right to keep it until
    the beneficiary turns 18? If so, what needs to be set up for that? The will has two joint executors, do they need to agree on how it is handled?
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  • #2
    It might be helpful for anyone reading this thread to look at your other thread of today for background context.

    Beneficiary - do I need to waive rights to receive owed pay? - LegalBeagles Forum
    All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


    • #3
      I have read both threads. I'll answer this thread here
      If a minor (18 in England, 16 in Scotland) is a beneficiary in a will when the will is written then it is usual to for the will to state the minor's share must be put in trust and trustees (minimum 2) appointed to administer the trust. The trustees have a duty to ensure the minor's assets are protected (including investing money for interest) until the person is 18, when they can be given access to the trust contents.
      OP should check the wording of the will and see if a trust is mentioned.
      The executor has no right to keep the money. What would happen if the executor died before the minor reached 18?
      If a trust is not mentioned in the will, the executor should consider opening a savings account in the name of the minor (or joint names with a parent) and transferring the money to this account.


      • #4
        Thank you! The executor is saying that he intends to ‘invest it until she is 18’. But doesn’t state it will be in a trust or who the trustees are. The Will states the following in clause 4.4 which I read to mean that the legacy will be paid to the parent - am I reading this correctly? No other letter or wishes were left in regards to this specific point. Only verbally did our grandparents say the money should go to the minors mother.


        • #5
          You should ask the executors what type of savings account they are intending to open on behalf of the minor.
          There are different types of accounts for minors.
          There may be a reason why the executor is reluctant to release the minor's inheritance to the parents and wants to safeguard it until the minor is 18.
          If after speaking to the executors and then writing formally to them if necessary, you are still unhappy the only recourse you have is to attempt mediation and if that fails take the executors to court.


          • #6
            Thanks. So the wording of the Will doesn’t mean that the legacy gets paid to the parent? It suggests that it does? I’ve included a picture of the clause in the post.
            there is hostility and estrangement between the two executors so one has just decided that he will make investments and not pay the parent - but the will suggests that it should be paid to the parent.


            • #7
              There is a article on a solicitor's website that covers disputes between executors and between executors and beneficiaries. It also provides information on different types of remedial action, ADR and court action:
              The most expensive course of action will obviously be the court action which should be avoided if possible.
              In this case I am wondering if the executor is taking what he or she thinks is the safest way to ensure the great granddaughter receives her inheritance when she reaches 18.


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