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Wills: how did you allocate assets in a blended family?

(34 Posts)
AliceAnneB Sat 27-Jun-15 09:48:48

DH has two kids from a previous marriage and we have one together. We are finally sorting out our wills and finding the asset split tricky. Did you take into account what your stepchildren wild inherit from their mother/family and try to make it even? As it stands now if both of us died 80% of our assets would go to our son as he's three and would be left with friends to raise. Once reached the end of formal education whatever was left would be split between the three kids. Does that seem fair?

Tutt Sat 27-Jun-15 09:57:16

We have split everything 50/50, my DSS has a Mother and family but my DS has me.
We did this as my Father took into account that I would inherit from Mum ( which I wont as I've seen the will and she's left it to her nephew.. don't ask).
My brother will get everything and it has hurt me more than I can every say, this is why we have split everything, what they inherit from others doesn't even come into it and I don't ever want them to feel how I do.

HermioneWeasley Sat 27-Jun-15 10:00:17

Leaving aside care for you son until he is 18, my view is that your estate should be split 50:50. Your half goes to your son, his half is split three ways between his 3 kids.

IMO it doesn't matter how much your DSCs are inheriting or not from their mother and her family, your husband's estate should be split equally between his kids.

AliceAnneB Sat 27-Jun-15 10:42:18

My DH said he feels like in a way his other two will end up double dipping on their inheritance from him because during the divorce his ex got more than half of the capital which she will leave to them and he still pays her the same amount in maintenance that used to pay into their joint account. There were also trust funds set up for the older two as part of the divorce.

I hadn't thought of posing it as pp said that my son inherits my half. I would think my stepchildren would feel quite hurt. I think I'm finding this tricky because info feel like they are my children too. Not in the same way as my son but still they are mine. I buy almost all their clothes out of my money because I adore them and I want them to have nice things. I want them to know I love them. If DH died I would be happy to continue to financially support my DSC. It's so complicated.

What I don't want is for how we set up our will to affect how they feel about one another. The three of them really love each other and are very close. My son worships them and they are wonderful to him despite their mother despising me.

Tutt Sat 27-Jun-15 10:48:00

Can you set up a trust or savings for your little one so that the same goes into his account as theirs?

anon33 Sat 27-Jun-15 16:53:21

My Mum (and step dad) divided the money 5 ways between all the children rather than 50:50. This does mean my sibling and I will "lose" 1 share (as step dad has 3 children) but my Mum checked with us and we agreed for the sake of goodwill and no court cases that that was fine.

I don't think you should take into account what the children are getting from others; you are only assuming that they will inherit, it is not definite. A donkey sanctuary could be inheriting for all you know.

Savethesm Sat 27-Jun-15 17:51:08

Make sure you dont end up having to pay his kids their 50% straight away if it would mean you losing your house etc.
DH and I leave everything 100% to each other and then the last of us to go decides what to do with what we leave. His dd is a grabby cow and would see me out on my ear in order to claim her inheritance so we've eliminated that concern.

Micah Sat 27-Jun-15 18:07:30

Currently everything is tied up in trust for our children.

However. She was kicked out of his home and marriage with nothing but a weekend bag of clothes. She kept everything, house, car, savings, assets, fixtures, fittings, the lot. She moved om in so they are a 2 adult house, with a big family support system on all 3 sides.

When I met dh he was living in his parents sofa. He moved into my house, contributing nothing.

If anything happened to dh or I, our children would be a lone parent family, or need to live with relatives. Both situations would require a big financial cushion.

We will revisit once all children are 18 and can support themselves.

fedupbutfine Sat 27-Jun-15 18:50:05

it is wrong to try and even up the score inheritance-wise between half-siblings - they don't have the same parents with the same circumstances. We don't try and even things up with our neighbours or children in the same class - I fail to see how this is different. And of course, wealthy relatives can lose their wealth or make surprising decisions regarding how their money should be spent once they have passed.

I think the only fair way is to split your assets in half and you leave your half to your children, and your partner leaves his half to his children so they are all treated the same.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 27-Jun-15 19:23:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MeridianB Sat 27-Jun-15 19:41:54

One interesting thing which came up when we did our wills was considering what might happen if we all died suddenly in an accident apart from DSD. Our solicitor pointed out that if we died intestate or just left everything to each other and I died first then my estate would go to DH and then to DSD. So if you want your mother/brother/cats home to share your estate in the event of you and your children dying then it's worth being specific.

Gruesome to consider but important. I'm sure some people would be very happy for their DSCs to get their estate but it was something that had not crossed my mind until the solicitor raised it. I guess it works the other way in that if DH died first in an accident then my parents, rather than his daughter would inherit his estate unless he had sorted that out via a will.

K888 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:51:56

Yes I've been pondering this too. My DH is in negative equity on his house (the one we live in) - as he took out a huge mortgage on it to buy his wife a big house and put it in her name. This won't be paid off until he is in his 70s. We have one son together and he has 4 daughters.

He's made a will where all 5 children will get equal share. This will mean, that if both he and his ex died - my four step daughters will get a substantial amount of money and my son will get either nothing or half. If his wife had contributed or the difference wasn't that great - then fair enough - but the difference is huge and was arrived through misplaced guilt rather than a fair settlement (a solicitor advised it was not fair or affordable).

My DH realised he made a mistake about buying a house for his ex - or such a big house - I'm all for being fair in separations but he could not afford it then or now and feels a bit of a fool.

I don't really feel like I have any say in his will - but I did just bring it up the other day - saying - I wonder how his son might feel - maybe we should just consider this. He wouldn't listen and I am starting to feel that our son will be short changed and may well feel second best in the future. Fairness is not easy!!!

Quesera21 Sat 27-Jun-15 20:51:10

What I leave my 3DCS has got bugger all to do with what their father does with his monies.

He currently has our 3DCs, his 2 step DCs and he and new partner have 1 DC.

He actually asked me if I would mind if he left his share to her and her 2 DCs and their joint, because I would provide for our joint DCs.

I had to point out to him, they were his DCs and he had a moral obligation to them, just like I did. She allegedly thought if it went 6 ways none of them would get a decent amount. My DCs love their half sib and I can only imagine how they would feel if they got zilch and he got a third/ That child is going to need their sibs in the future and this would be the way to drive a v big wedge between them. Why he is providing for her DCs is beyond me.

ijustwanttobeme Sat 27-Jun-15 21:02:22

This has come up recently in our house too.

DP has 3DCs from his first marriage, and 2 with me.

He's said he's planning on dividing everything 6 ways.

I on the other hand, although I love my SDCs they will be gifted specific amounts rather than a share of my estate- that is to be divided between my 2 DCs.

Melonfool Sat 27-Jun-15 23:01:58

Why not arrange life insurance to pay for little one's education but split the assets in the will three ways?

You can also buy life insurance which is assigned to the ex to cover ongoing maintenance, a reducing term life cover like you buy with a mortgage, so it becomes zero when the maints agreement would end.

swingofthings Sun 28-Jun-15 08:04:48

I don't think considering what each child would get from other sources a fair way of allocating splits. The fact that they would also inherit from their mum is irrelevant as indeed, who know what the future holds. It could be that by the time she passes away, she has dwindled it all. Or not only she had to use her assets to pay for many years of care, but maybe the children would have to contribute towards that costs. Similarly, any of the three children could win the lotery and on this basis become less worthy of the inheritance.

I think that the only fair way is that whatever assets that have come from you should go 100% to your child, and what has come from their dad should be divided 1/3rd equally between his three children.

sandgrown Sun 28-Jun-15 08:18:27

I have 2 children.DP has 4 and we have one joint child. I have my own property to which DP has never contributed and I want this to go three children. My older two went through the struggles we had to hold onto the house when ex dh left. Our joint house will be split equally I think with a proviso that if one of us dies we can stay there until death before house is split.

nooyearnooname Sun 28-Jun-15 10:21:27

I'm struggling with this a bit too. No DCs of my own and not planning to have any. I brought a lot of assets into the marriage as I had been lucky enough to have made quite a bit on a property sale and had saved hard for several years, DH brought very little.

Obviously if anything happened to me, I would want everything to go to DH. However I would not want my SS to then inherit in turn when DH died - I would want my nieces to have anything that was left over. But I can't work out how to do this without putting everything in trust, which would then mean that DH wouldn't really have free access to the assets.

It is tricky isn't it. Someone mentioned above about what would happen if both of you died in a car crash - worth knowing that if you were both killed in the car and they didn't know who had died first, the assumption in law is that the oldest has died first - so in my case if I died intestate everything would go directly to my SS as I am older than DH. Must make a will!

Woooooohoooooo Sun 28-Jun-15 10:32:22

Can you give 2/3 of your inheritance to your son. And 1/3 to them

DH can split all the inheritance equally between all three. The boys will also inherit from their mum.

Melonfool Sun 28-Jun-15 10:51:14

The assumption in law is that the eldest died first unless you write something different in your will, so you can override that assumption.

The assumption is only there for if there is no provision in the will.

I am the same re bringing all the assets, no dc of my own, don't mind the dss getting something but don't want to make his mother rich! Remember you can write now that DH gets the money in trust to use and goes to N&N when he dies, but you can change it later, say when dc are over 18, to share it differently.

I will be changing mine when dss is over 18 I think.

But life insurance is fairly cheap and can mean you don't need to worry too much about how the assets are split. dp has £92k of life insurance and it's £8pm. That will pay the mortgage and leave £20k for his dc which covers outstanding maints. The longer he lives, the lower the mortgage and outstanding maints and then more comes to me which I would gift to dss in tryst along with other money left to him by dp, though we've both left the house to each other.

Savethesm Sun 28-Jun-15 17:01:37

It's really tricky noyearnoname, you can't leave everything in trust because then your husband's standard of living/ the house etc. would suffer. In the end when faced with the chance that in the event of my husband's death I could have to sell our house to pay his dd's "entitlement" we decided to just leave to each other. I trust him to do right by my daughter, and I by his, if either of us die. But I'm not having his dd knocking on my door for money.

Savethesm Sun 28-Jun-15 17:02:55

We do each have insurance policies left solely to each of our kids though

AliceAnneB Mon 29-Jun-15 17:20:22

Thanks all for your replies. We've just gotten off the phone with the lawyer and I feel like my head is swimming. Apparently it's going to take all sorts of legal "vehicles" to prevent DHs from making a successful claim under the 1975 act if he were to die first. There's so much we didn't know and lots of choices/decisions.

Mommyusedtobecool Mon 29-Jun-15 19:48:05

Assets aside, who looks after the kids If both parents die? God forbid..
What if neither of you like the others parents?!
My other half thinks it would be his mum. However, in the 3 years we've had our kids, she hasn't met them once!
I intend to write a will just to clarify that. They're staying with my parents, where they're familiar, loved, understood and taken care of! End of.
And re other assets in a blended family, although I do all the child child raising, for my own and also full time with DSC, I want to have something aside I'd just leave to my dc from a previous marriage.

Melonfool Mon 29-Jun-15 20:16:59

I don't think it should be the grandparents, they are a generation too far away. And especially if they've never met them.

I agreed to be legal guardian for cousin's child should they die, she's over eighteen now and they're all alive. But in the years til she was eighteen I made sure I kept in regular contact in case the worst happened, at least she'd know who I was.

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