Transgender Awareness Week (13th to 19th November 2019) “My daughter has become my son – should I amend my Will?”

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As part of Transgender Awareness Week, we consider the impact that our identities (and the way that we self-identify) can have on ourselves or our beneficiaries when preparing our Last Will & Testaments.

Should your beneficiary formally change their forename due to a change of gender (by way of a Gender Recognition Certificate or through a Deed poll) then this could inadvertently disinherit them from your Will.  The wording in your Will or the date in which your Will was executed is crucial.

       “I give my residuary estate to those of my daughters who survive me 

                     and if more than one in equal shares absolutely”

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) came into force on 4 April 2005.  Prior to that date, a transgender person could identify by their acquired gender socially but legally they would still be recognised by the gender assigned to them at birth.

“What happens if at the date of my death one of my children has transitioned

and has obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate.”

If the Will is dated prior to 4 April 2005, your child who has transitioned will be treated for succession purposes as your daughter (their gender prior to the transition) and they would inherit under the terms of your existing Will.  However, if your Will is dated after 4 April 2005 or you have made a later Codicil after 4 April 2005, the child who transitioned will automatically be disinherited from your Will (as they have legally changed their gender).

“I give my residuary estate to those of [my daughters] Sophie and Sarah who

           survive me and if more than one in equal shares absolutely”

If your child had been referred to by their former name in your Will, the gift is unlikely to fail as they should be able to prove their previous identity.  Whereas if your child is referred to solely as your daughter (and they are self-identifying as your son, and they have obtained Gender Recognition Certificate) then the gift is likely to fail.

Should you wish to discuss or revise your Will then please do not hesitate to contact Kathryn McCullough via email at kathryn@meaby.co.uk