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prob wrong area but, Wills? Do we need them?

(39 Posts)
Becca1992 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:20:01

New to MN aND not sure where to ask this question.

My and my dp have been together for 8 years. He has a daughter (11) fron his first marriage who he never sees (his ex did a flit and he could not track her down :-().
Anyway, we have two children together and I have a daughter from my marriage. I think we should probably get wills drawn up but he says there's no need because if one of us dies it will just go to the other one because we've lived together for so long. I would like to get married but he isn't keen.

What should we do?

puntasticusername Sat 29-Nov-14 12:22:08

You definitely need wills, especially if you have any assets that you consider to be joint eg property. It doesn't make a scrap of difference how long you've been together, if you're not married.

IAmAPaleontologist Sat 29-Nov-14 12:22:20

Yes you need wills. It will NOT got to each other, it will go to the next of kin so if he dies then his estate will go to his children including his daughter. If You die then your estate will go to your children.

If you both die what happens to your children? Make a will then you decide. Leave it then the courts decide.

NoLongerJustAShopGirl Sat 29-Nov-14 12:22:45

Write wills - NOW....... it will not go to the other one without those wishes made EXPLICITLY in writing and witnessed because you are not married.

Becca1992 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:24:46

The house is in his name because when his wife went she said she didn't want anything to do with it (it was almost in negative equitey then). I've paid some of my divorce settlement towards his mortgage, about £20 thousand in all, and we signed a letter that I'd get that back if we got divorced.

I definitely don't think we're likely to split up but he is quite a bit older than me and has a heart problem so I do worry about what would happen if he died.

IAmAPaleontologist Sat 29-Nov-14 12:29:11

Phone a solicitor on Monday, get an appointment, make simple mirror wills where if one dies it goes to the other and vice versa and if you both die you have details of what goes to who and can express your wishes for who would care for the children and can appoint people to handle the money until they are adults.

Nanny0gg Sat 29-Nov-14 12:30:26

If he dies, you will get nothing unless you jointly own the house. You will not be next of kin (You say D'P') are you married or not?

You are in a very, very precarious position. Go and see a solicitor.

specialsubject Sat 29-Nov-14 12:31:07

WHEN he dies - the only question is who dies first. You will both die.

without marriage you have no protection at all. Cheapest solution is to pop down the registry office, and then make a will to cover the remaining detail. Marriage invalidates wills. Otherwise make wills anyway.

I think you are vulnerable if he dies as you have no claim on the house at the moment.

what you do need urgently is guardian-ship arrangements for your children should you both die before they are independent. That isn't a certainty (and let's hope it doesn't happen) but it could.

Becca1992 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:39:52

Thank you everyone. I will talk to him again tonight.

Any idea how much it will cost to make the wills?

Mumblechum1 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:54:57

OP, I'm a will writer, and strongly recommend that you do make wills.

At present, because you aren't married, you would not receive anything, as your home is in your partner's sole name. If he dies before you, his estate will go to his children in trust until they're 18. That will involve your being homeless (I presume that the capital you used to help with his mortgage was all you had? - did you do a deed of trust?). What will happen to his daughter if her mum has no contact? Unless he appoints you guardian she will probably go into care. The guardianship issue is a bit tricky, as technically her mum would automatically be expected to care for her, but in these circs, as there is no contact between the child and mum, making a guardianship appointment would probably be adequate to ensure that she didn't go into care.

There's also the issue of the interest you may have acquired in his house by making the lump sum. This needs to be sorted out properly. It may be appropriate, given that you have children both in your relationship and the elder children, for your partner to, at the very least, give you a right to reside in the house for a specified period, or (preferably), either a life interest, which means that you can stay there till you die or marry someone else, or a gift of part of the house. By making a life interest, he can still protect all or part of the house for all of his children but still give you the security of a roof over your head. Here's an article about life interest trusts: www.marlowwills.co.uk/protecting-your-estate-from-care-home-fees.aspx

which explains how they work in blended families (ignore the care home fees title, that's the other use of this type of trust).

So far as charges go, will writers are generally cheaper than solicitors as they often work from home so don't have the overheads of a high street firm. You should ensure that you use a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters who are all properly qualified, regulated and insured. High street lawyers (I was one for many years), charge quite a bit more, depending on where in the country you are.

Whoever you choose to make your will, I suggest that you get on with it sooner rather than later. Once it's done, you can tick it off the list of Things To Do When I'm A Grownup smile

skylark2 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:56:46

"if one of us dies it will just go to the other one because we've lived together for so long."

Ah, the myth of common law marriage...

It doesn't exist. You are not his next of kin and will inherit nothing if he dies. And vice versa, of course.

Kundry Sat 29-Nov-14 12:58:28

I can recommend Mumblechum on here who is a professional will writer. She gave us excellent advice and was v affordable.

As you are unmarried you need wills more than ever! There is no such thing as a common law marriage - when you die your assets will be split between your 3 children. When he dies his assets will be split between his 3 children. You will be homeless.

Even if you were married you still need wills as the money does not simply go to your spouse, it is split with the children. Again, you could be homeless.

Kundry Sat 29-Nov-14 12:58:59

Ah, Mumblechum arrived while I was posting. She's fabulous.

Apatite1 Sat 29-Nov-14 12:59:31

I'll jump on the bandwagon: get a will, right now, don't hesitate!

Mumblechum1 Sat 29-Nov-14 13:03:34

flowers Thank you very much Kundry, that's so kind smile

Hope you and yours are well.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 29-Nov-14 13:12:42

As everyone else has said, you definitely need wills. In some simple cases you can get away with DIY Will kits but because of the thing with the house deposit and the blended families you definitely need an actual solicitor. Yes it will cost money - but the alternative is being evicted from your home.

drbonnieblossman Sat 29-Nov-14 13:55:33

Everyone should have a will. Please use a proper solicitor though and not one of those cheap will-writing companies - it'll be too late for you to regret it after you've died but your executors will more than likely have a nightmare on their hands.

Mumblechum1 Sat 29-Nov-14 14:31:39

As Dr Bonnie says, you do need to be careful and use a qualified lawyer (I am one, as well as a will writer, they aren't mutually exclusive wink!)

Sallyingforth Sat 29-Nov-14 14:37:58

DP and I made wills, slightly complicated due to personal circumstances.
Total cost for the two with a solicitor was just £150.

The real money is made by acting as your executor - if you don't outlive them!

vienna1981 Sat 29-Nov-14 14:46:18

I used a local Legal Executive to draw up my will. He is not a fully qualified solicitor but he knows the probate and estate laws backwards.

Every adult should have a will, no matter how much or how little they have to bequeath. No excuses. It saves so much aggro and potential heartache for those left behind, provided the will is reasonable of course. But that's at another level.

Mumblechum1 Sat 29-Nov-14 14:49:36

Very true. I was always "encouraged", when in High Street solicitors practice to try to get clients to appoint the firm as executors as it can be quite lucrative if the fees are based on a percentage of the value of the estate, especially in the SE.

I always recommend that my clients appoint siblings or close friends as executors, as they can of course always use solicitors and accountants to help them with more complex aspects such as the tax forms. Far better to pay a few hundred pounds in fees for the tricky bits than tens of thousands which can be the case when the solicitors are receiving a percentage. The executorship expenses are of course taken from the estate and not paid by the executors.

motherofmonster Sat 29-Nov-14 14:57:08

Apologies for jumping on this one. My husband and i are separated and have been for around 5years but not divorced. My dad is worried as he is in bad health that if he dies and i inherited his house that my exh would be able to claim half of it.. I didn't think he could as we have been seperated for so long.... Any advice would be appreciated

MrsGeorgeMichael Sat 29-Nov-14 15:00:16

wills and POWER OF ATTORNEY.

yes i did mean to shout grin . can't stress how important it is when relative was in a 'coma' for 2 years before dying.

fucking nightmare is an understatement

Kundry Sat 29-Nov-14 15:01:37

You would need to speak to a solicitor - and advice may be different in Scotland vs England/Wales.

However as you are married, the inheritance would be an asset of the marriage.

Mumblechum1 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:41:46

Mother of Monster, speaking with my ex divorce lawyer hat on (I practiced divorce law for over 20 years), the issue of inheritance is always a bit of a grey area.

It very much depends on the overall assets involved. For example, if a couple split up very shortly after one party receives an inheritance and the other assets are very small, then depending on other factors such as the length of marriage, each party's capital contributions etc (the checklist of relevant factors is set out in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973), then that inheritance will usually be taken into account.

As you and your husband separated 5 years ago, if you separated your finances at the same time, eg sold your house and split the proceeds, then it is very much less likely that a court would consider that, if you divorce after you receive your inheritance, your husband would have any entitlement.

I do recommend that you sort out your divorce as soon as possible, but if it isn't possible for whatever reason, that you and your husband agree a Separation Deed which will set out what (if anything) needs to happen to effect a settlement, but more importantly will set out an agreement that neither of you make any claim against the other in the future.

The only thing a Separation Deed can't do is make a Pension Sharing Order, only a consent order within divorce proceedings can do that.

So, long story short, I suggest you find a local family solicitor to help you sort this out. www.resolution.org is an organisation of accredited family solicitors, you may wish to meet a couple for free half hour interviews before you make a decision on who to choose.

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