Beneficiary potentially a criminal

Afternoon everybody

I am having a blank moment this afternoon and was looking for assistance.

Testator wishes to leave a gift of cash below £10,000.00 to a beneficiary who is a convicted criminal however has now changed his lifestyle.

What sort of guidance do I need to give to the Testator, if any, regarding the gift.

Many thanks

Sarah Bourke
Walker Solicitors

There appears to be no reason why the ex-con cannot inherit ( assuming no crime against the testator).

However, a clause could be inserted if required, that the bequest would only occur if the ex-con was not convicted of a crime before the will was proved (ignoring minors like speeding offences).

Andre Davidson

There is no reason a convicted criminal cannot benefit under a will, unless the gift fails under the public policy of forfeiture.

Does the testator intend that the legacy lapses if, say, the intended beneficiary is involved in further criminal acts? If so, perhaps the cleanest way would be to use a discretionary trust and give the executor(s) directions as to the circumstances in which they would not want the legacy to be paid. To try and craft a clause identifying suitable levels of criminality may be a hostage to fortune. By way of example, with regard to speeding, referred to in a previous post, I understand that it is only “criminal” if the accused does not comply with the fixed penalty notice but goes to court and, if found guilty the offence, whilst a “criminal conviction”, does not result in a criminal record.

Paul Saunders

Agree with @paul . Was just trying to give a very quick answer, but a trust could be the way to go. Or a clause which may refer to a custodial sentence or suspended sentence. Whatever is easiest to draft.

Andre Davidson