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another will / inheritance one....

(8 Posts)
willyouwontyou Mon 03-Aug-15 13:26:24

Quite a few threads on here on wills / stepchildren recently, which has got me thinking, and I can’t work out how to achieve what I want to with a will – I just don’t think it’s possible, and wondering if anyone had any ideas. I’m married, DH has a child from a previous marriage, I have none, and we have no joint children. We have always kept separate finances, works for us. If anything were to happen to him, he has a small savings account and a life assurance policy, which provides for his remaining child maintenance to 18 for his son, and a lump sum for me, so all fairly straightforward.

My issue is….me. Before I met DH I had inherited some family money, which paid a 50% deposit for the house we live in, and I also have some fairly substantial savings. I also have life assurance cover through work.

If anything were to happen to me, my first concern would be making sure DH was ok – that he could stay in the house (or move if he wanted to), that he had sufficient money not to have to suffer a drop in lifestyle as far as possible (I earn significantly more than him). Which in reality means leaving him all my assets plus life assurance, and from what I understand doing this in trust would make it difficult for him in terms of accessing money / moving house etc, which I want to avoid. I also think he would be very hurt if I put it in trust – as if I didn’t think he could manage it himself.

However what I can’t work out, is how I then stop him leaving everything to his son. It’s money that I have inherited from my family / worked hard for, and eventually I would like whatever is left (if anything!) to go to my nieces, not to his son. But I can’t work out how to do this if I don’t put everything in trust! Anyone have any ideas?

Nydj Mon 03-Aug-15 13:30:37

I think you can leave the house to your nieces with a right for your dp to live there for the rest of his life. not sure about any other assets and money though.

I suggest you contact mumblechum, as she writes wills for a living and is very good at it.

Maybe83 Mon 03-Aug-15 13:51:15

How did you buy your house joint tenants or tenants in common?

willyouwontyou Mon 03-Aug-15 13:56:13

Maybe - the house is in my name only. I owned it before we married.

willyouwontyou Mon 03-Aug-15 13:59:21

I suppose my other question is - has anyone else been in the same situation and actually wanted / wouldn't mind for their stepchild to inherit their assets? I feel quite strongly that I don't want him to, but realise others may have different views...be interested to hear them!

Melonfool Mon 03-Aug-15 14:00:55

" from what I understand doing this in trust would make it difficult for him in terms of accessing money / moving house etc, which I want to avoid."

It doesn't make it difficult, it only has to be written to say that it is 'this house, or any other domestic residence bought with the proceeds for his own domicile' or something (I am not a lawyer). I have seen something like this in a relative's late wife's will and he moved and when he died the house still went to her family.

You can also leave him the 'beneficial interest' of the assets, which means he can live off any income but the capital remains intact (eroded by inflation though). Or you could split it and leave a beneficial interest in some money but an outright sum of some other.

Yes, you can leave the house to your nieces and give him a lifetime interest - that is more or less the same as he then holds it in trust for them. You'd need the same wording re him moving.

All this is only achievable if you hold the property as tenants in common, with shares. If you hold as joint tenants then it automatically goes to him by law. You can sever a joint tenancy very easily, by giving him notice and changing the entry on the register. He doesn't have to agree. I think if you do it you can't bring it back together later though.

I know how you feel, I have the same issue. I don't want everything I have worked for (not inherited anything) to go to his son and then, accidentally, to his mother - either because he is under 18 or because he decides to gift her some or, it just reduces her need to support him etc!

You need to speak to a decent lawyer, not a mere will writer.

Chasingsquirrels Mon 03-Aug-15 14:05:38

I want my children to inherit anything I leave rather than step children BUT dp and I aren't married so they aren't actually steps, plus I don't know them - haven't mtg the eldest (now young adult) and only met the youngest (mid teen) in passing.

It's something DP and I need to address but atm we live in my house, he has his own house which he rents out, we don't have joint finances. But if we stay together, retire together etc then I can see we may combine finances more.

If I didn't have children myself then I don't think I'd care what dp did with money after I died, after all I'd be dead. But I can't say that with certainty as I'm not in that situation.

Melonfool Mon 03-Aug-15 14:14:32

Ah, yes, re inheriting - see above.

Though, to be honest, I have left my share of the house to dp with no restriction. And 20% of everything else to dp and to dss by default if dp dies with me.
Then the rest to nieces/nephews/godchildren.

If he dies before me I will probably change my will at that point as dss will have got money from dp and I might gift him some money then change the will.

He has left his share of the house to me and first £20k to dss (he doesn't actually have £20k) and rest to me and dss 50/50.

I am trustee for dss, with dpsis as secondary.

Life insurance pays mortgage and actually, now, mortgage has gone down significantly and dss has got older, so it will also cover outstanding maintenance, plus the £20k and 50% of remainder to dss himself.

If I died right now he would own the house and 20% of all my savings, so c£16k plus presumably 20% of my pensions, so another c£25k. He could pay more than half the mortgage with that.

If he dies right now I get the house, the insurance pays the mortgage, I give the remaining sum (c£20k) to his ex for maints, dss gets all his cash/stock options etc up to £20k. I think dss and I share his work death in service which would be substantial.

I don't like to factor in death in service as you might/probably will move job and not always have it.

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