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A Will that protects Hubby and Daughter

(18 Posts)
expat101 Sat 27-Jul-19 00:56:00

I'm of the age where some of our friends' Parents have moved onto other Partners/relationships with not so terrific outcomes for the adult children of the previous marriage.

A close family member has lost everything her (deceased) Mother owned both materially and financially through her Father's choice of new Partner. Now he has passed away, anything he owned jointly with his first wife, has been taken/removed by the 2nd wife.

There was an attempt at a late change to the wording on his headstone which fortunately Friend managed to stop in time.

So it has me thinking about the need to write a new Will and trying to achieve a fair balance. I want my Husband to be able to sell if he wishes but I don't want our daughter to miss out on what I have worked for either for the sake of accommodating his next partner.

Equally if things turned sour, I don't want her to be able to cut her Father out of his home.

Does anyone have a Perfect Will that protects their children and spouse in the future? Is it just fairer to leave my Estate to them in equal proportion?

Rtmhwales Sat 27-Jul-19 01:17:23

What kind of assets do you have?

If you have a fair bit of cash, I'd probably leave the cash value to your DD and your share of the house to your DH if they're fairly similar.

If you don't have similar amounts, I'd split your entire estate 50/50.

Does your DH automatically inherit the house if you die? Or can you nominate who inherits your half?

stupidboyman Sat 27-Jul-19 02:33:39

You can leave your half of your home to your daughter whilst reserving your husband the right to live in it until he dies.

SeaEagle21 Sat 27-Jul-19 02:51:21

If your house is owned as "joint tenants" you can't leave half of it to your daughter since the house would automatically go to your DH on your death. If you want to leave half to your daughter you'd have to change the ownership of the house to "tenants in common" and you could leave your DD your half.

But you never know what might happen in the future. If you / DH need aged care in the future, the house might have to be sold to pay for that.

The idea of "the perfect will" sounds wonderful but many people have found that it's not easy to achieve it !

Sforsh49 Sat 27-Jul-19 03:10:59

My parents were "tenants in common" and when my Mum passed half of the house came to me and my brother. Dad still there obviously and we can't sell from under him (not that we would ever dream of doing so) but that half at least is protected and if he passes there is no need for probate for the house, we can sell immediately.

I'm pretty confident there won't be an issue in our case around a second wife, but if there was and Dad chose to leave his estate to her then I'd be upset, but I'd respect his decision as long as he was capable and of sound mind to make it.

BasiliskStare Sat 27-Jul-19 03:23:20

Is there ( more qualified people than me can say ) a way of having a trust where the house & assets belong to your DH but everything upon the first death is calculated & then goes to DD upon 2nd parent's death. ( i.e. he cannot leave it to another spouse)

I am with others though - my parents have been negligent in not having a huge estate and squillions of pounds so I am pretty much thinking it will all go in care home fees. BUT no harm in making provision if not the case.

SeaEagle21 Sat 27-Jul-19 06:43:05

*Is there ( more qualified people than me can say ) a way of having a trust where the house & assets belong to your DH but everything upon the first death is calculated & then goes to DD upon 2nd parent's death. ( i.e. he cannot leave it to another spouse*)

No you can't leave your estate to your husband but then say that they have to leave it to your DD when they die. If your DH remarries, his 2nd wife is entitled to inherit from him. Once you're dead you can't continue to dictate what happens to your estate.

katewhinesalot Sat 27-Jul-19 06:47:35

We changed our house ownership from joint tenants to tenants in common. We've each left our share to our children with a life interest for our partner. This was done precisely for the reason you state.

katewhinesalot Sat 27-Jul-19 06:49:48

This also means that only half the house can be used for care home fees for the remaining person.

stupidboyman Sat 27-Jul-19 07:40:04

If you put it in your will that you want half your house to go to someone else that serves to sever the joint tenancy. Ideally you would do it properly and register at land registry but your intentions are pretty clear so it will suffice imo.

mumblechum0 Sat 27-Jul-19 07:52:27

I’m a willwriter and this is a very common issue for which the best solution is a Life Interest in Possession Trust, as PP have mentioned.
In the wills, you each give your respective shares in your main residence to your trustees to hold on trust for the benefit of your child/ren. The surviving spouse has the right to continue to occupy the house until they die or remarry. When that happens the trust comes to an end, the house is sold and the proceeds divided in accordance with the wills.
The survivor can move house so the trust then applies to the new house.
It’s well worth doing to avoid accidentally disinheriting the children. It’s a bit more expensive than standard wills but not massively (eg I charge £400 for a pair of Life Interest Trust Wills, plus £45 to sever the joint tenancy which is essential for the trust to take effect)

SoonerthanIthought Sat 27-Jul-19 08:23:50

Does the lender (if you still have a mortgage) have to agree to the joint tenancy being severed, or is that totally irrelevant to them?

I do occasionally ponder whether/when to do this. I wonder whether if in real life the life interest arrangement ever gives rise to fraught conversations between surviving dparent and adult dc (and dsils and ddils!) about whether surviving dparent really needs to stay in the house, wouldn't s/he like to downsize so that dcs can release their share of the capital to move house etc? And what do you do about cost of major house repairs - eg dcs having to contribute half to mend the roof?
I haven't heard of mass fallings out over this, but suspect it is still not a widely used arrangement. MN has made me much more aware that the 'survivor dparent remarries and dc get nothing' scenario is not that rare an event. But I think many people still feel 'oh dh/dw would never do that' and so are happy to stick with joint tenancy.

stucknoue Sat 27-Jul-19 08:36:56

It's possible to leave your half of the house to your children but allow your dh to stay until he die or needs care, the good news is that as long as you put this in place sooner rather than later, it means that the house cannot be sold for care costs if your daughter is the co owner. Mirror your wills ideally in case the situation is reversed and whilst sorting this out get both medical and financial powers of attorney in place. Hopefully not needed for many years but never hurts to be sorted

TarragonSauce Sat 27-Jul-19 08:49:40

We had a similarish situation in the extended family, however the wife in question (who was terminally ill) wished to ring fence her half of the property from the two adult children of the husband's first (1970s) marriage. The deeds were changed to tenants in common and she willed her half of the property to their joint children. So at this point the husband owns 50% and each joint child 25%. His will states his estate should be split between all his children so 12.5% of his 50% to each. (There isn't really anything else to account for.) I doubt there will be problems in future as obviously all the children are adult and have their own set-ups and none will want to live in the property.
I have always wondered what will happen if he needs long term care. At the moment he would be expected to sell property to fund it. But his co-owners cannot buy him out and who would buy half a property on the open market? Obviously in these circumstances 'deprivation of assets' cannot be claimed.

Kazzyhoward Sat 27-Jul-19 08:54:30

I have always wondered what will happen if he needs long term care. At the moment he would be expected to sell property to fund it. But his co-owners cannot buy him out and who would buy half a property on the open market?

I believe the local authority would finance the care home costs, but put a legal charge on the property, so that they get their money back once the property is sold, however long that may take, after the person dies.

TarragonSauce Sat 27-Jul-19 09:02:09

Interesting. Thank you.
In that scenario I can see cross faces if his 50% has been eaten up by care fees leaving the two joint children still owning 25% each.
They are distant family and as much as I hate the phrase I am quite relieved to be able to say not my circus!

Kazzyhoward Sat 27-Jul-19 09:08:51

In that scenario I can see cross faces if his 50% has been eaten up by care fees leaving the two joint children still owning 25% each.

But if the wife hadn't left her share to the children and it passed to the husband entirely, the care fees could eat up the entire house value, leaving the children with nothing.

mumblechum0 Sat 27-Jul-19 11:57:51

sooner, no, the mortgage lender isn't consulted when a joint tenancy is severed.

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