RNRB and the meaning of ‘lineal descendent’

Father wishes to leave his estate to his child but he is not named on the birth certificate. IHTA 1984 8K(1) states that the estate must be left to a lineal descendent of the deceased, but lineal descendent is not defined. I am of the opinion that the father’s estate would benefit from the RNRB and if proof was ever requested, we would have to cross that bridge with the information we had at our disposal at the time.

Has anyone had any situations similar, or could comment on their understanding?

Emily Wentworth
Irwin Mitchell

What evidence is there of the client’s parentage of the child?

Might a statutory declaration by the father and/or the mother confirming the child’s parentage suffice for the purposes of claiming the RNRB.

However, is it possible that other beneficiaries might have a different view, and contest the gift? If so, more detailed consideration might need to be given to verifying the client’s understanding of his relationship to the child.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP
Independent Trust Consultant
Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

I did do some research with respect to “domicile” sometime ago and made some notes at the time.

My understanding is that even where a father’s name appears on the birth register whilst this is prima facie evidence that he is the father of the child, it is not conclusive.

Presumably in today’s climate DNA testing offers the ultimate proof.

If the child is legitimate there is a presumption that the child is that of the husband and wife.

In Reading v Reading [2015] Ch some comment was made to the effect that the term “issue” (same as “lineal descendant”) in its general sense refers to children in the biological sense.

The RNRB should therefore be available.

Malcolm Finney

Hi Emily,

Not had this issue with RNRB, IHTA 1984 s.8k

I would use GRO 185 - GRO 185

You can formally add the father to the BC.


Richard Bishop

1 Like

Would a DNA test for Father/Child settle this?

Kevin Chalk
Provest Financial Management

Thank you for all of your replies.

I thought very similar, that we’d have to show parentage in some way, most likely through DNA testing or sworn evidence.

I really appreciate all your input.

Emily Wentworth
Irwin Mitchell