Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and the Gender Recognition Act 2004

Gender Recognition Act 2004 LGBQT heart

Wills and Probate Solicitor Charlotte Day discusses the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and what implications this may have when dealing with Wills and LPAs …

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 sets out the legal framework for an individual to have their gender legally recognised and for an individual to change their gender and have that new gender recognised for legal purposes by way of a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate can be costly and time consuming, and having or not having one can potentially make a big difference in the context of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

When preparing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney legal practitioners are often required to be gender specific whether that be a reference to ‘my daughter’ in a Will, or the use of a preferred title such as ‘Mr or Mrs’ in a Lasting Power of Attorney. Of course, specifically naming you and other individuals in such documents is another key feature.

It is possible that clients or family members referred to in documents such as Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney may not use the name or gender that they were born with, or they have a preferred pronoun, so it is important to make your legal advisor aware when giving instructions, if you know that this is relevant to you or a family member.

What Are The Potential Implications Of Using The Incorrect Pronoun/Name?

Gender recognition is an important issue, and whilst sometimes it can cause upset or disagreements within a family, it is important to discuss these issues with your legal advisor to ensure that you or the person in question are appropriately identified and referenced in the legal documents.

If this is not done, then this could mean that a gift in a Will could fail, which then opens the possibility of claims being made against your estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (if the person fits the criteria), or it could mean that a Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until the issues are resolved. Naturally this can cause distress to those involved in addition to potentially being time consuming and costly to deal with.

How Can Timms Help?

When preparing Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney it is always important to seek legal advice to ensure that these issues (and others) are identified so that you receive the appropriate advice.

If you have any questions regarding the preparation of your Will or Lasting Power of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01283 214 231 or via email at c.day@timms-law.com.

Charlotte Day Wills & Probate Solicitor

Charlotte Day

September 2023

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