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All My Children

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All My Children

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It is common for a Will to state that all or part of estate is left to ‘my children’ or ‘such of my children who survive me’ but has this phrasing become old-fashioned? Does ‘my children’ accurately reflect the individuals that you wish to inherit from your estate or is this an example of the law failing to appreciate the modern family? Here are five examples where the wording ‘my children’ might not be sufficient:-

Blended Families

A blended family is where one or both partners have children from previous relationships. ‘My children; usually refers to biological and adopted children (with exceptions). Step-children and are not included unless they are explicitly named.


In the UK, the surrogate mother is the legal mother of the child until a parental order is granted. A parental order transfers parental rights from the surrogate mother to the intended parent/s. A reference to ‘my children’ in a Will doesn’t include those born through surrogacy unless and until the intended parent/s obtain a parental order.

Unmarried Couples

If a couple is not married or in a civil partnership then it is likely that only the biological or adopted parent has parental responsibility for the child. This means that if a Will refers to ‘my children’ it might not include the non-biological or non-adopted parent’s children.

Adopted Children

The general rule is that adopted children are treated the same as biological children when using the term ‘my children’ in a Will. However, if the child if adopted overseas and the adoption not recognised in the UK then this rule may not apply.

Illegitimate Children

The phrase ‘my children’ would include any illegitimate children even if you don’t appear on the birth certificate. If it can be proven through DNA that you are their parent, then they would be entitled to inherit.

Your Will is your final chance to ensure that your loved ones are protected and provided for after you have gone. Make sure that outdated wording doesn’t mean that children that you consider yours are left out or that children you do not wish to include are included.

The simplest way of achieving this would be to update your Will naming your children or being very specific as to who is to be included. If you’d like to talk to the team about having your Will reviewed, or if you need a new Will written for you, please call us on 01752 827067 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate team are all highly experienced, qualified and extremely knowledgeable. Client service is extremely important to us here at Nash & Co Solicitors, and we’ll always explain the process, ensuring you understand everything, before progressing.

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