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To want to make a will that screws EX DH's new girlfriend?

(48 Posts)

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bottomsup2 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:14:02

Hi, my DH of 12 years left me while I was having cancer treatment this year; he left me for his little tart who is half his age. I have two small children and now want to make a will in case this aggressive B*stard of a disease gets me. I live in fear that soon-to-be-Ex-DH will marry the silly little tart as soon as he can...and then if I die and they divorce, won't she get half of MY house? The one I've been paying half the mortgage on for 12 years? And then what happens to my children? I am trying to protect my kids and sadly get my affairs in order so please be kind because unless you've been in this position it is hard to imagine how scary it is.

Questions -
Can I somehow protect the kids and if so how?

Do I have to tell STBExHusband about my new will?

Do I have to leave any of the house to him or can I leave all my part to the kids and therefore they'll get 50% if I die and he gets 50%? So they either all live here or it gets sold and 50% of the profits go into my kids bank accounts? (and won't my exhusband just withdraw it from their accounts as the adult on their accounts?)

I have savings - can I put in the will that this is to go the kids education, either privately or for university and if not used for this, for their inheritance at age 25? Otherwise the silly girlfriend will just spend it.

Can I state that certain people (my brother) are not to receive anything, or is it the case that if I don't mention them specifically to receive something in the will, then they won't get anything?

Can I state that certain people (my brother) are never to have unsupervised access to my children?

Can I specify my preference for guardians if I happen to die after my STBExHusband? (& who would the children be automatically 'offered' to if not? Are grandparents and uncles and aunts automatically asked if they can care for the children?)

Sorry for all the questions - I think there are some legal whizzes around this board and I'd be grateful for your input.

pootlebug Tue 09-Dec-14 19:18:45

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. i'm sure one will be along. You could ask for this to be moved to legal matters which might help.

I think YABU to want to protect your money for your children's financial future.

You can put money in trust for your children - so no-one (not even a parent) can touch it until they are 18/21/whatever you decide). You can make whoever you like a trustee. You'll need a lawyer to arrange it though I suspect.

AFAIK if you don't specify that someone gets something in a will, they don't. Your brother has no automatic right to anything.

I don't know how it works if anything were to happen to you before your divorce was finalised - how the split of assets is judged. Also bear in mind that you may well need to make a new will (signed and witnessed again) after divorce, as it may become invalid on divorce - again a lawyer should be able to tell you.

FarOverTheRainbow Tue 09-Dec-14 19:18:54

No answers I'm afraid but I'm sorry your going through and I hope you have a lot of support and keep strong thanks

pootlebug Tue 09-Dec-14 19:19:06

Aarghhh I meant YANBU not YABU. What a stupid typo!

bf1000 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:19:41

You can leave your half of property to children (in trust - with your choice of trusties) you can give your ex husband live in trust - meaning it would allow him to live their until after his days but leave your half safe for your children and that it cant be changed ever. Or you could maybe have ex live their until youngest turns 18 etc and then it could be sold to reliese your share etc.

You can also state your preference for guardians but if your ex is alive as a parent with PR they would go to him, but he was not alive your choce would take priority.

Savings can be left in trust for your children.

theHowlatWooooooCorner Tue 09-Dec-14 19:19:50

I think it would be money well spent to ask a solicitor to draw up this will for you. They will advise the best and most watertight way to write it.
I wish you all the best with your treatment flowers

bf1000 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:21:18

Yes i agree with needing to get it drawn up by a solicitor to make sure it is watertight

Mrscog Tue 09-Dec-14 19:21:49

YANBU, but get a solicitor for this one for sure!

Lambzig Tue 09-Dec-14 19:22:08

Hopefully Mumblechum will spot this thread. She is a professional will writer who I and lots of other mumsnetters have used and she kindly gives great advice on will threads.

I think you are very brave to think about protecting your DC and I am so sorry to hear about your circumstances.

GoodKingQuintless Tue 09-Dec-14 19:22:21


I would repost this in legal.

There is a mumsnetter who is a will writer, I am sure she can help you out.

WyrdByrd Tue 09-Dec-14 19:22:25

I really think you need to see a solicitor as your circumstances sound quite complex.

If you & your ex own the house as joint tenants you can severe the joint tenancy which will enable you to leave your half to whoever you choose.

You can put that in trust for them & a presume would not have to have your ex as a trustee, ditto your own personal savings.

The guardianship issues I would imagine would be more tricky to sort out if you ex is around and wants to have the DC's.

This is an awful thing to have to consider so I hope this doesn't come across as insensitive, but would it be worth investigating getting a power of attorney drawn up for yourself in the event that you are unable to manage your finances/medical decisions?

I do hope that you get through this horrible time & have better fortune in the new year thanks wine .

ShakesBootyFlabWobbles Tue 09-Dec-14 19:24:06

No advice I am afraid, but what a lowlife thing to do when you are your most vulnerable. shock Best wishes for your recovery flowers

wearenotinkansas Tue 09-Dec-14 19:24:40

OP - are you in Scotland or England and Wales? The law is different in the two countries. ( I think NI is the same as England).

CHJR Tue 09-Dec-14 19:34:11

He can't marry her till you two divorce, and the divorce would mean he can't inherit automatically from you. However, worst-case scenario, if you should die before the divorce is formalised, yes, you can make a will now, without his permission, leaving all your assets to your children and naming trustees who are not him. In British law you are NOT required to leave anything to your spouse. You can actually do this without being divorced.

But if the relationship is fraught, make sure you appoint someone (or several someones), known as trustees, to act for the children to claim those assets (eg half the house) that you would normally have claimed yourself during the divorce. Make sure whoever you choose is up for it: talk to them first. Best if it's a relative that the children know well; that would weigh with a court. A sibling is better than a parent because they're in your generation; if they also have children that's also good, shows stability etc. Helps if they live in the same place more or less, minimum disruption. (You can definitely appoint more than one trustee, but make sure they can work together or at least not fight, and remember though they needn't also be guardians, it's kind of complicating for long-run financial arrangements if the guardians aren't trustees.)

If you are not yet divorced and have no custody agreement in place, preventing your X from becoming the children's guardian will be more complicated. In fact, it could be impossible even if you are legally divorced, and you might (gently) wish to ask yourself whether it is really best for them to lose their father completely if they lose you: even if he's only second-best, he may be at least second-best, rather than 14th-best, do you see?

A notarised letter of wishes, spelling out what a will would normally spell out (ie -- what happens to your £££ and what you would like to see happen to the children) might help. You can also make a will in anticipation of the divorce -- you need to consult a solicitor and make sure the will specifies that it is made in expectation of the divorce I believe, sorry, not my area of law. Normally wills are invalidated by marriage or divorce, but should be okay if made in planning for a marriage (or divorce) due to happen.

I am so sorry. flowers I hope you have good moral support from your own family and friends.

CHJR Tue 09-Dec-14 19:38:48

p.s. If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. A lot of men seem incapable of handling DP's or DC's illness and just scarper off after the diagnosis. If you can find a cancer support group you may well find other women in this position. sad

PetraDelphiki Tue 09-Dec-14 19:39:21

You can only leave your half to your children if you are tenants in common. If you are joint tenants (more likely) he gets it automatically. It is pretty easy to change, but I'm not sure if you need his agreement. Find Mumblechum on here and get her advice...

Everything else that is in your sole name you can leave to whoever you want . Don't assume anything about guardianship of the kids - speak to a good family lawyer. Don't worry about what happens if you die after STBEX - if he dies just rewrite your will. Write it for the situation as is is now, and change it if that changes.

SoMuchForSubtlety Tue 09-Dec-14 19:40:07

Yes definitely get a good solicitor. Mumblechum on here did our wills and she's great, find her (maybe in Legal) and PM her.

Our wills specify who is to be the DC's guardian but I don't know what happens if one parent survives (the clause we have only applies when both of us are dead) - I think your STBExH would automatically get custody as he would have parental responsibility and it would be a matter for the family court if your preferred guardian were to contest custody.

Re money you have in savings I think you should specifically ask the solicitor if you can have one will now and then update as soon as your divorce goes through - marital assets are I assume tied up by the divorce proceedings? You can ask about a trust, which would be held by a trustee you nominate until your DC reach an age you specify, which keeps the money from your ex and new girlfriend. Terms like education are usually not made binding but you can include it if you feel the trustees may not respect your wishes I think (recalling all this from conversation with mumblechum - do get some expert advice).

It would also be good to get the divorce solicitor and wills solicitor to be aligned I assume, as I don't know how those two areas would overlap in other ways eg if via the divorce you get to remain in the family home but only for as long as the children are minors (normal if you are primary caregiver I believe) but I guess the details of that arrangement would affect the terms of the will?

Good luck, it sounds awful sad

Andrewofgg Tue 09-Dec-14 20:26:11

OP There will be a divorce settlement which will divide up the assets. If both solicitors know their business it will include a provision that when one of you dies the other can make no claim.

What your ex's will does with whatever he has will be then his business - and vice versa.

But there are things you need to do quickly to set your mind at rest in case your diagnosis goes bad, involving severing your joint ownership (if neither of you has done so) and making a will - not foolproof but better than nothing.

Get thee to a solicitor sharpish, and please, not a will-writer, a solicitor. And while I am one I don't do that line of work so I am not out for myself!

Andrewofgg Tue 09-Dec-14 20:27:55

And of course much love and flowers from one who survived cancer twenty years ago and is still very much here to one who is going to survive and be here twenty years from now.

bottomsup2 Tue 09-Dec-14 20:36:52

Thanks for all your help so far and good wishes.
Just want to clarify I am asking that if my STB ex dies first and then me, can I stipulate who I want guardians to be? If I don't do this, is there a pecking order of relatives that it defaults to?

Am in no rush to divorce as my life is dominated by stress already and he is paying the mortgage. If we divorced I could not afford to take on mortgage so house I think would have to be sold - which I am in no fit physical state to undertake. So I am accepting his money (which solicitor told me is more than I would get statutorily) and not rocking the boat.

But what I want to do is make a will that covers me for the next two or so years - in case I die, before I am divorced. I don't want my ex to be able to swiftly remarry then divorce and that cow gets half my kids house.

mumonashoestring Tue 09-Dec-14 20:37:08

Not a legal expert by any stretch, but SIL & BIL have both made wills to the effect that if something happens to both of them, their children come into our custody (obviously they agreed this with us first!), but their money goes to another trusted family member to be held in trust for the children. The idea is that no-one then has sole responsibility for all decisions relating to our nephews - effectively it doubles the number of adults they have looking out for them because all financial decisions would have to be discussed and thought through with the boys' best interests at heart, so it is certainly possible to specify that custody should be given to someone in particular.

I hope you get this straightened out, that your treatment programme is kind to you, and that your STBXH's cobblers catch fire in the night.

bottomsup2 Tue 09-Dec-14 20:39:09

Ps. Live in England. Joint tenants. Both names on mortgage. He is a good father to them and I don't have an issue with him having guardianship but he has turned into a bloody brainless twat where girlfriend is concerned and will do whatever it takes to keep her....if that involves marrying her as soon as I die, then he will

bottomsup2 Tue 09-Dec-14 20:41:31

PPs. Will be seeing a solicitor shortly but I am having chemo which muddles my brain so I want to know I understand my options before I go to a meeting with her that I pay £200 an hour for.

fedupbutfine Tue 09-Dec-14 20:42:51

when I made a will, I was advised to name people specifically as that would make it harder to contest it - so if you don't want your brother to have anything, you probably need to say 'to my brother, I leave nothing' so your wishes are very clear. Not naming a person seems to leave it open to interpretation.

Your money will need to be put in trust for your children when they are older - if it's done properly, your ex shouldn't be able to get his hands on it. I would leave 'coming of age' information/letters with trusted relatives for your children explaining what decisions you made and why in case the reality of what happens is different to what you wanted - at least then they would know what you intended for them and whether or not to trust their father (sorry - I have an ex who I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw him, I tend to see all men who have affairs in the same way!).

I wish you well in your recovery. I think you are right to try and work it all out -it will give you peace of mind so you can focus on getting well.

Mrsgrumble Tue 09-Dec-14 20:43:27

No experience of this but just appalled at your ex dh behaviour and wishing you the best xx

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