Let's start with person A.

Person A wants to write a will leaving "everything" to their partner, person B. They are not married, or in a legal partnership of any kind.

Person A would prefer that their only sibling inherit nothing.

And that a child born out of wedlock, but acknowledged on their birth certificate (foreign, but not UK) , living overseas, receives a share, despite the will, as a gesture, stating that person B inherit "everything".

Given the will, does person A's sibling have any claim? Their child?

  • 1
    Is person B a business partner, a 'romantic' partner or merely a friend? And whose child is it? Is the child person A's child, person B's child or the sibling's child?
    – Pharap
    Oct 13, 2019 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


The child C cannot receive anything as a "gesture despite the Will" if everything in the Will is left to B; unless B agrees to a Deed of Variation the Executor is legally bound to follow the instructions in the Will.

C may have a claim if he is dependent on A at the time of A's death and A has failed to make provision. It is possible that A's sibling S might also have a claim if dependent.

Although you have tagged the question as United Kingdom, inheritance and intestacy law differs widely between England and Scotland.

Such a Will should be drafted by a specialist trust and executry planning solicitor to avoid the risk of contentious probate.

  • 2
    I see. My understanding was that a child has claim, no matter that the will does not mention them. Seems like i am wrong Oct 12, 2019 at 19:33
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    @user12103519: This causes a lot of unhappiness where estates and families cross borders. English law is as Owain has said: most European laws provide for family to have a claim automatically. Oct 12, 2019 at 21:23
  • @user12103519 If the child automatically had a claim to a will that said "I leave everything to my 'partner'" then it would make it difficult to cut offspring out of the will if that was the intention of leaving 'everything' to the 'partner'. In such a system there would need to be an explicit "my children inherit nothing" clause rather than simple exclusion by omission.
    – Pharap
    Oct 13, 2019 at 7:33
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    An explicit "my children inherit nothing" clause cannot invalidate a child's claim against the estate for "'reasonable financial provision", or for legitim in Scotland. lawdonut.co.uk/personal/claiming-an-inheritance/…
    – Owain
    Oct 13, 2019 at 9:57

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