It is often the case that a testator or testatrix will, during their lifetime, assist one or more of their children with paying the school fees of their grandchildren and in these circumstances it is important to consider including a provision in their Will as to whether these payments are to be brought into account by the child or children in question before the division of the net residuary estate.
In the absence of any such provision, there is a presumption of law known as a presumption against double portions which is based on the principle that a parent is presumed to intend equality amongst his children.
Not every gift made by a parent will be treated as a portion; usually they are substantial advances for the object of establishing a child in life or making provision for him or her. In the case of school fees, it relieves a child of the burden they would otherwise they have to bear out of their own resources. Accordingly, where it applies, the lifetime payments are presumed to be in complete or partial satisfaction of the provision made under the Will.
If you need help or advice with a Will or related matters, please contact Christopher or a member of the Wills & Probate team on 01865 244661.