In the final BBC2 programme about Wills, Sir Gerry looked at the issue of distributing estates where a beneficiary had disability.
In the first case, the mother and father deliberated distributing an estate between their two sons and daughter where the daughter needs full time care. The father wanted to leave the house to his daughter, whereas the mother wanted to leave everything in equal shares to the three children.
The solution was to create a discretionary trust for all three children with 50% of the estate and a letter of wishes from the parents advising that the daughter receive priority relating to her needs. The remaining 50% is shared equally between the sons.
Once again, without the advice of Sir Gerry and in particular Sue Medder, the legal expert on Wills, this situation could have dragged on for years. If either of the parents died intestate, the outcome would not have given the daughter any priority over her brothers.
If you take the advice of a professional, the choice of outcomes becomes clear.
In the second scenario, the husband wanted to miss out his son and daughter and leave his estate to two of his three grandchildren, leaving out the eldest, who is autistic, because his daughter has made special provision for him. He wants to do this by leaving the house to the grandchildren with a life interest to his wife. This is strange for a couple married for forty years.
The wife wants to leave the estate equally to their son and daughter, but the relationship with their son is strained.
At the cosy dinner, they all agree that it is unclear where the money is required. The daughter reveals that she has provided for her other sons equal to that of the autistic son, and this news changes the scene entirely.
Nevertheless, there are issues remaining. Care fee assessment considerations, re-marriage, and tax considerations. We do not know the final circumstances of this complex family issue, but, once again, the necessity for family communication was clear.
The programme series has ended, but they have many people think of their own situation and wishes. That is an achievement, now Hay Tarn would like to help make their Wills.