Protecting A Blended Family In Your Will

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Wills

We all want to do our best to protect our family in the future. Many of us work long hours and make many sacrifices in order to secure their future happiness.

Life is full of ups and downs and many of us may marry, divorce and remarry in the future. The blended family consists of couples who have remarried and have children from previous relationships so what can we do to protect them all.

Married couples often make Mirror Wills essentially leaving everything to each other and then to their children.

They may falsely believe that this means that should they die, their inheritance will pass automatically to their children after their husband/wife`s death.

 However, Wills can be changed at any time before your death and so can Mirror Wills.

None of us can predict the future and if you were to die first your spouse might remarry in the future. Remarriage cancels any existing Will you`ve made.

Let’s say for example, If Mr & Mrs Davies make Wills leaving everything to each other and Mr Davies dies first, they also have 3 surviving children together. Mrs Davies then remarries a few years later to Mr Jones who has a son from his previous marriage. This could cause problems in the future.

Firstly, her previous Will is cancelled and if she doesn`t make a new Will specifically providing for her children then she is said to have died intestate.

Even if she makes a new Will any assets that are held jointly together will pass automatically outside any Will she might make  and to Mr Jones by survivorship. 

If Mrs Davies dies before Mr Jones without a new Will, then as her spouse, he can inherit a large part her estate through the intestacy rules. When he then dies, all his estate including what he has inherited from Mrs Davies may pass to his son to the detriment of her children.

All this can be avoided by preparing your Wills to protect your children. This can be done by easily and effectively.

One of the ways of avoiding this would be for married couples to sever the joint tenancy of their matrimonial home and hold the property in distinct shares as “Tenants in Common” each leaves their share of the house to a trust which provides a life interest so that the surviving spouse can continue to live and enjoy the property during their lifetime and upon their death their children become entitled to that share.  

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The information provided is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from an appropriate professional before you take any action or refrain from action. Whilst we endeavour to use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate, complete, reliable, error free and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that it is such. We and our associates disclaim all warranties. The information can only provide an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.

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