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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
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Thanks. May I ask if the pension contained a death in service (may be a lump sum or regular payment) benefit please?
Thanks. the first step is to contact the pension administrator and ascertain what benefits are available under the pension and how the pension funds are held. the majority of pensions of this type are held in trust...
What this means is that upon the passing of a pension holder the benefits due from the pension are not part of that persons estate but rather pass under trust to one or more beneficiaries named by the pension holder
the reasons pensions are held in trust in this way are primarily because in doing so, it is tax efficient. Because by holding the pension funds in trust, they never enter the pension holders estate which means that no inheritance tax is due (only relevant for inheritance tax paying states) on the money from the pension and that the money is safe from claims of third parties or creditors.
assuming this pension benefit is held in trust which is usually but not universally the case, then your son would have been asked to nominate one or more beneficiaries in the event of his death. If this is the case, then the benefit from the pensions would pass to those one or more named beneficiaries and would not be included in his estate and therefore would not be subject to the terms of your sons will if he made one, nor would they be able to be claimed by creditors or other third parties.
Providing the pension is held in a trust (you need to confirm this is the case - it often is - with the pension administrator) and he did not name the lady or his children as beneficiaries of the pension she should not have a claim.
Rather the pension proceeds will pass under these circumstances to the person(s) he named as beneficiary.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
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