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17 January 2018

Transgender considerations in your will

Any wills that have been made since 4 April 2005 could be affected if a beneficiary has changed gender.

Prior to 2005, anything that was left behind in a will to someone of a specific gender was not affected if they changed gender.

For example, if you left 60% of your estate to your sons and 40% to your daughters and your son changed gender to a female, your son would still have inherited their share of 60%.

However if the same were left in a will made over the last 13 years, the son would receive 40% rather than 60%.

If your will contains any gender-specific legacies, if you have treated your beneficiaries unequally by reference to their gender or, if you hear that a beneficiary is looking to change gender, you may wish to review and update your will accordingly so that their gift is not affected by a change in gender.

If you have simply used ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ as identifiers and have named your beneficiaries, then a change in gender should not affect any legacies left in your will. It is important to ensure your will is up-to-date and still reflects your wishes.

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