People Insights
Contact Us
Get in touch
Contact Us
Published On: March 27, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Does the eldest son inherit the entire estate and wealth? Not Always

It is often thought that when a person passes away the family gather for a formal reading of the will, but whilst that might be requested, it is not something that usually happens. Instead, it is up to the executor to decide when to share the will with others. Of course, once the will is probated it becomes a public document and copies can be obtained from the Probate Registry. 


Father leaves behind all assets to the younger son – a scene from ‘The Gentlemen’

The Netflix show The Gentlemen which was released in March 2024 and became an instant classic within the UK. One of the most iconic scenes of the series can be found in the very first episode. In this scene, the Will of the 12th Duke of Halstead, Archibald Horniman, is being read upon his death. 

It comes as a surprise to the entire family that instead of the elder brother, Freddy Horniman inheriting the estate of his father, it has been passed over to the younger brother – Eddie Horniman. 

Please note: The video below contains strong and offensive language. Viewer discretion is advised. We are sharing this video solely for the purpose of discussing possible inheritance disputes cases. The content is intended for informative purposes only and does not reflect our endorsement of the language or actions depicted.


Inheritance Planning: Expectations vs reality

Expectations about inheritance may shape am individuals’ attitude to financial planning and future aspirations. Many anticipate inheriting assets, property, or wealth from family members as a form of financial security or a means to achieve personal goals. These expectations can influence life decisions, such as career choices, saving habits, and investments, as individuals may factor in their anticipated inheritance when making long-term plans. 

However, disparities between expectations and reality can lead to discontentment with disappointed beneficiaries often find themselves grappling with a mix of emotions, ranging from frustration to disillusionment.  

Whether stemming from a contested will, mismanagement of assets, or unmet expectations, their disappointment can be profound. Such beneficiaries may feel a sense of betrayal or injustice, particularly if they had relied on the anticipated benefits for their future stability or well-being. 

The realisation that their hopes and financial security are not as secure as they once believed can be profoundly disheartening. Navigating the complexities of legal proceedings or attempting to rectify the situation can compound their distress, leaving them feeling adrift and uncertain about their future. 

This raises the importance of clear communication and realistic understanding of inheritance dynamics within families. 


Can you challenge a Will?

While a Will cannot be contested merely on the basis of being deemed unfair, there exist several reasons for which a Will or specific clauses within a Will can be disputed and potentially deemed invalid. 


Potential grounds for challenging a Will:

  • Lack of valid execution:  
  • Undue influence 
  • Lack of mental or testamentary capacity 
  • Fraud or forgery 


How to contest a provision of the Will?

When the entire Will’s validity is not in question, specific clauses within the Will can be challenged or modified based on the following legal rules: 

Read more about the potential grounds for challenging an ‘unfair Will’. 

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is among life’s most challenging moments. This difficulty is compounded if there’s reason to doubt the will the deceased left behind—or if there’s uncertainty about the existence of a will at all. Instead of coming together, such times often see the emergence of disagreements and family disputes, further complicating an already tough situation. 

Learn more about taking legal advice about contesting a Will and how Anthony Gold Solicitors can assist you in the process. 

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

Get in touch

Call, email or use a contact form – whichever suits you. We’ll let you know the best person to help you get started.

Call or Email

020 7940 4060

No comments

Add your comment

We need your name and email address to make sure you’re a real person. We won’t share your email address with anyone else or send you spam. Please complete fields marked with *.

Leave a Reply

Your email address and phone number will not be published on the website. Other visitors will not be able to see your contact information. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

How can we help?

Request a Call Back

How can we help?