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Writing our will

(21 Posts)
racmun Wed 21-Aug-13 19:06:47

So the time has come to do our wills and things have become a little heated between dh and myself..

We have one ds between us and dh has another son.

My proposal is that dh and I leave everything to each other but if we have predeceased the other then it goes 1/4 to step son and 3/4 our son.

My reasoning is that ds and ss get 1/2 of their dads half each ie 1/4 but my half or 2/4 of our estate goes entirely to ds.

My reasoning is that ss will get an inheritance from his mother's estate and its not my place to provide for him from my half of our estate.

Dh will be treating ss and ds exactly the same.

Dh days he thinks it should be 50/50. I have point blankly refused to this.

I have also just received an inheritance from my grandparents which I have proposed to keep separate from our joint estate and put it into trust for ds in his entirety.
Again if ss grandparents want to leave his mother something that is up to them and it is up to her whst she does with it. I don't see why ss should benefit from my grandparent's legacy. We are talking 000's so it is significant.

What has anyone else done in this situation?

GoingUpInTheWorld Wed 21-Aug-13 19:15:10

I havent got a will but in your situation i would say you are 1000000% in the right.

tumbletumble Wed 21-Aug-13 19:15:29

This is a tricky one. Practically speaking I think you are correct, but emotionally speaking I can see why DH feels that is treating his older son unfairly (or rather 'differently').

I'm not a step parent but my brother is. The issue in our family is that I have 3 DC, while he has one DSD. He and SIL are not planning to have any DC together. My parents' money will be split in half between me and my brother, but that means that in the long term my share will be split between my 3 DC whereas my niece will eventually get all of my brother's share even though she isn't a blood grandchild.

My parents have addressed this by putting an amount aside for university fees and house deposits for their 4 grandchildren, then the rest is divided between me and my brother. This basically has the effect of leaving more to my DC while still being fair to me and my brother.

I know yours isn't the same situation but maybe a compromise would work?

hermioneweasley Wed 21-Aug-13 19:20:51

I think you are right. The father's estate is split equally between his children. Your estate passes to your son. Your DSS has no 'right' to anything from your parents or grandparents. I am sure your DH's ex and her family aren't planning to leave anything to your DC?

Chewbecca Wed 21-Aug-13 19:23:25

DH and I have a son together and he also has 2 sons from his first marriage.

We have agreed that our joint assets are split 50/50 and my half goes 100% to our DS and his half is split 3 ways between his 3 children.

He feels this is more than adequate considering his first 2 sons will also inherit ExW house too (which he largely paid for) so definitely does not feel there's anything unfair about it.

We may also potentially in future 'ring fence' and inheritances we receive from our parents because we don't feel it is quite 'right' that my parents property is passed to his boys.

We both think this the 'fairest' approach and are both happy with it.


Purple2012 Wed 21-Aug-13 19:28:13

I am a step mother with no children of my own and I won't be having any. Our house has been paid for with my money. When I married my husband I also took on his daughter. Our wills, when we get round to doing them will each leave to each other and then whoever is left will leave theirs to my sd and 2 nephews equally.

purpleroses Wed 21-Aug-13 19:59:02

Assuming that the wealth you share was acquired by you both equally (ie you owned similar amounts when you married, of have acquired it since) then what you are proposing is fair, for all the reasons you state in your post.

Leaving it to each other is probably fine for now - whilst you're relatively young and would have decades of living to do. But it might mean (if your DH died first) that your DSS would get nothing (eg if you kind of lost touch with him and decided he wasn't family any more) or (if you died first) that the two DCs would get 50-50 of everything each in the long run, via their dad. If you're OK with this, then that's fine.

The chances of both dying together are very small indeed.

stepmooster Wed 21-Aug-13 20:22:33

We've got to do our wills once DC2 is born. One thing I want to discuss with DH beforehand is what happens if both DH and were to pass away whilst our 2 children are still children. We don't have oodles of money, and my dsis will most likely be the ones to take them on (my dsis and I have both suggested we do this for each others kids). But my dsis does not have oodles either. I would like to suggest to DH that if we both pass away all our money goes to our joint DC. DSS will still have a home, mother and stepfather.

DH could set up some kind of life insurance to keep paying his ex maintenance. I think once all kids are over 18 then OP's idea sounds good.

But I do also think adult children should not expect to inherit. Some people like to leave to charities etc.

Xalla Fri 23-Aug-13 07:05:24

I think you're 100% right too.

We have an arrangement similar to that of Chewbecca - my estate gets split between my children. DH's gets split between his. If we die at the same time and before the children are grown, we've appointed trustees (my brother and his wife) to manage the estates, pay his ex maintenance etc.

Emptychairs Fri 23-Aug-13 08:23:14

Agree completely with you racmum, and have incurred similar bad will from dh.
I have already inherited from my parents, all that is to go to my ds, as is my old home and 50% from joint assets.
Dh has 2 dc, all their gps still alive, and actually all quite wealthy, their mum has a good income etc.
Yet dh acts as if I do him wrong or am marginalizing his dc!
(Had my own thread once about this as dh is keeping his bank statements secret to get back at me. As he's never shared this information it doesn't actually impact on anything though, except my decreasing respect for him...)
Stay strong.

needaholidaynow Fri 23-Aug-13 08:31:38

OP you are completely right.

If I inherit anything at all from my parents, then everything in my name will then go to DS1 and DS2 split between them when I eventually pop my clogs. If it was DP inheriting anything from his parents then I'd expect him to split 3 ways to include DSD as well.

It's not my responsility to leave DSD anything. She will probably get something from her mum, but everything I have I am keeping safely out of reach of anyone else, including DP and DSD.

On top of this, I have opened a children's savings account for each of my DSs, but not one for DSD. When the bank started asking for me to send off their birth certificates, it actually confirmed to me that again it isn't my responsibility to do this for DSD. I don't have her birth certificate, ive never even seen it, for the simple fact that I am not her mum. it is something that her mum should be doing for her. If DP wants to do it then thats fine, but he's currently unemployed so I don't see how he'd be able to do it!

Gooshka Fri 23-Aug-13 09:29:53

We will be doing the same ... I have regarded it as a purely financial, not emotional, decision. I don't want to dilute my own children's inheritance by providing for step children who have already inherited 50% each of their late mother's estate (£70k each when they turn 18). We have a DS together and I have a DS from a previous relationship so it'll work like this ... my 50% spilt between my DS and and our DS; husband's 50% split between DSD, DSS and our DS. So they all get equal shares or own half of the estate which means our DS gets the bigger share overall since he gets a share from both me and his dad ... this is right as he will only ever inherit from us (my own DS will also and inherit sole estate from his DF so my DH shouldn't have to provide for him from his share!) Years ago, we'd say "yep, easy, split it all equally" but when you actually sit down and think about it logically rather than emotionally, it's not that straightforward and, uncomfortable as it may feel, you have to make a decision that is financially fair for everyone. Good luck! smile

purpleroses Fri 23-Aug-13 10:14:59

Sorry to hijack - but can I ask the people on this thread who are splitting it all between DCs how they would provide for the surviving spouse? Eg if you're all living in a house that you own jointly, would they have to move out to enable their DSC to get their share of their inheritance?

Petal02 Fri 23-Aug-13 11:48:19

Can I ask people who are splitting it all between the children, how they would provide for the surviving spouse

Very good question!! Otherwise you could see a situation where the surviving spouse lost their home in order to 'free up' allocated inheritance.

In a bio family, it tends to be the norm that if, for example, the husband dies, everything passes to his surviving wife, and then when she dies, it passes to the children. I've no idea why this is any different in step families? Why does the surviving spouse get missed out?

If, heaven forbid, anything happens to DH, everything goes to me (and vice versa) and then when the last one of us dies, it all goes to DSS.

needaholidaynow Fri 23-Aug-13 12:11:13

Anything in both of our names, such as if we bought a house together, the surviving spouse would live in and then be passed on to the children. But I think anything in the step parent's name, such as a house inherited from parents or large sums of money, it doesn't necessarily mean their spouse would get first dibs on it when the husband/ wife dies and they may well want to leave everything to their children. That applies to us whether we are a step family or not.

purpleroses Fri 23-Aug-13 12:12:42

That might work in your case, Petal, if DSS is the only child that stands to inherit from either of you, your DH trusts you to pass it to him (should DH die first), and you're happy for your estate to pass to him too.

But it's more difficult if there are several children with different combinations of parents, and/or people don't agree with their spouses as to what is fair. EG if the OP in this thread dies first and leaves her money to her DH, he might well decide to split the whole lot between his DCs - despite the fact that she would prefer her share to go only to her own DCs. But if she leaves her share direct to her DCs, her DH might find himself homeless whilst it sits around in a trust for the DCs. And if her DH was to outlive her by several decades (presumably quite possible if she were to die anytime soon) then it could become harder and harder to figure out what is her "share" anyway, he might have more children, might outlive the children, etc, etc

I think leaving a life-time (or time limited?) interest in the house which is held in trust for the DCs is one option possibly, but would be interested to know what others think of this.

needaholidaynow Fri 23-Aug-13 12:36:09

I've just had a huge disagreement with my DP about this. Oh dear....

34DD Sat 24-Aug-13 21:00:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moetlovermuvver Sun 01-Sep-13 23:55:26

It's very tricky as theoretically, you leave everything to each other with the understanding that the split to the children will be honoured on the 2nd death however in all honesty, there is nothing to stop the surviving spouse changing their will.

FWIW, DH and I have 2DCs and he also has an older daughter. Splitting things the way the OP suggests means my DSD would only inherit 1 sixth (16.6%) of our estate which seems small in comparison to our DCs getting the other 5 sixths between them.

We have agreed that DSD will inherit 24% and our other DC will inherit 38% each. This was agreed with the help of a will-writer as we'd had many an argument about it. The will-writer phrased is in terms of need. DSD is 10 years older than my DD and thus if something was to happen to DH and I when DSD was, say, 23 then DD would only be 13. DSD would either be in the working world or about to be if she goes to uni. Whereas DD would still have possibly 10 years worth of education left that would need to be funded. The younger children therefore need more money than the older ones.

Once our youngest gets to the end of education then we are supposed to be revisiting it but over my dead body is our estate being split evenly three ways.

peopletalk Mon 02-Sep-13 17:19:48

the senario you have described is the situation i am in i wont be leaving anything to my step son i might change my mind in the future but i doubt it my arguement was his mother might leave him money thus he will already be financially better off than any children i might have with my partner ss will get 50% of his fathers share of the house my share will go to my children i think this is fair.

NorthernNanny5 Mon 02-Sep-13 20:00:05

We have it so our joint assets like the house is split 50/50, I leave my half to my DC and his half is split equally between his. However none of them get anything until we are both dead. Any individual assets we have left to our own with our own instructions.
I also wanted a provision so the estate is frozen at point of first death, not that I distrust DH but I've been subject to family fall outs with wills and how people change when it comes to money, that way should I die first he can not meet some young girl and have a mid life crisis spending all the joint estate so that my DCs half of nothing is nothing and vice versa, hope that makes sense smile
We both also have life assurance policies for any maintenance that may still need to be paid in the avent any children are still minors

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