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Wills/houses/step families

(27 Posts)
Letitgoletitgo Tue 09-Feb-16 14:09:49

Will post in legal also but thought I might get some good advice here

Dp and I are in the middle of buying a house, 50/50. He has one dc, I have two. We would want the house split so his dc has his 50%, my dcs split my half 25% each. However, what sort of clause do we need to ensure one of us isn't forced to sell up so dcs can inherite? I would not put it past dss mum to force me to sell my home so that dss could have his half if something were to happen to dp! So we need some security that if one partner dies,the other can keep the house until either they die and all dcs inherit, or they choose to sell and so the step child/ren inherit their portion. Does this sound right? How have other families worked it?

And incidentally, is it better to own as joint tenants or as tenants in common to help accommodate this?!

Thanks for advice!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 09-Feb-16 14:23:48

I don't know, but I'd be interested in the answer. It's a bit of a bone of contention with me and DP - even though I've been living in my DPs house for 6 years, in his will it goes to his children (he has 5, we have one together, split five ways) and if he dies I'm homeless basically. He has life insurance which will pay me something, but not enough to buy any kind of house. I've been a stay at home mum since our child was born, working and paying my way before then. It doesn't seem a fair arrangement to me at all.

Letitgoletitgo Tue 09-Feb-16 14:27:04

Bananas, that's rubbish! From googling, I have found the options of "rights to reside" and "life interest" in a property - both essentially mean that a named person - usually partner - can live in the property for the rest of their life and then it is divided up as stated in the will. Not quite sure on the difference yet!
Interested to see how others have worked things! X

Chimpfield Tue 09-Feb-16 14:33:51

We both have two children -so the house will be divided 4 ways.
However, when we drew up our wills, we have a clause added that the surviving spouse can live in the property until they die - even if they remarry. If the surviving spouse cannot afford to run the inherited property they can sell and downsize. The money that will go to my DH children will be "ring fenced" so to speak.

My best advice is to get a good solicitor - she asked us what we wanted to achieve with out wills and my answer was "if my husband dies before me, I do not want to be given notice of eviction at his wake" his ex wife would bee perfectly capable and willing to do this. Funnily the solicitor knew just what I meant

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 09-Feb-16 14:46:30

When DH and I have spoken about this we divided they would have to wait for both of us to die (like a together family). I'm not moving out so they can get hands on cash....ind I wouldn't expect DH to do the same for our ds

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 09-Feb-16 14:47:22

Sorry if that sounded a bit blunt blush

Chimpfield Tue 09-Feb-16 15:01:37

Not blunt at all, sums up how I feel

It's so important to sort - saw this today

MeridianB Tue 09-Feb-16 15:13:14

Totally good idea to get this - I think it's a fairly easy thing which the solicitor can add. It can also over possessions, too, which is also important for the surviving partner and stops anyone pouncing.

Someone I know had a grown-up child promising to rip out the wired-in Bang & Olufsen system as soon as his Dad died. Nice.

iPost Tue 09-Feb-16 15:14:23

Can I suggest a starting a thread in legal.

I've just asked a will based question there, the answers have been informative, fast, helpful. And kind.

Letitgoletitgo Tue 09-Feb-16 15:58:44

Thanks all, think we're all in the same page here! Totally agree Whogives, I wouldn't expect to get half a house if one of my parents died - our dcs will have to accept that as we are the "parents" of the blended family, it works the same way and no one inherits until we have both died.

Anyone that has jointly bought a house, is it better with this scenario to be joint tenants or tenants in common?

I have posted in legal too but no bites yet!

NZmonkey Tue 09-Feb-16 17:48:19

I've also been looking into this a lot lately. When DP and i get married in April he is going to buy 50% of my property which will make us mortgage free grin but I've made it very clear that if one of us dies the other will inherit the property until they die too, or im not prepared to joint own. After that the whole house can go to my DSD. We will still have seperate bank accounts so if DP goes first all that can go to his daughter at the time. I just dont want DSDs mum somehow owning half my house if DSD is still under 18 and kicking me out of my own home.
The joint tenants or tennants in common, I looked into although not sure if it works in NZ like that. The one I was keen on was where no matter what is in the will the house will go to the other person. Means if a will is changed without you knowing you still won't find yourself living on the street at 70.

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 09-Feb-16 17:52:38

My DH also has a life insurance policy that will cover his kids maintenance up until they turn 18 (I could never cover it on my own) so maybe look into that too if you have young dsc.

hellsbells99 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:01:44

NZmonkey - my late father did this with my stepmother. It was his house bought with his money (his 50% share after divorcing DM) before they married. They made wills leaving it to each other with the understanding we would eventually inherit it (she had no children). My DF died and my stepmother then did a new will (within a few weeks) leaving everything to her niece. He should have done some sort of trust instead of trusting her.....

NZmonkey Tue 09-Feb-16 18:02:26

That's a good idea whogives I might have to look into that with DP. As I don't think in NZ I would have any responsibility to cover it if DP died and in all honesty I just wouldn't give money directly to DSDs mum.

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 09-Feb-16 18:04:38

I wouldn't have any either I don't think, but I know DH would want them to still get money monthly. And it wouldn't have to come from the house then

NZmonkey Tue 09-Feb-16 18:06:53

Hellsbells that is truly horrible I'm so sorry to hear your stepmother betrayed your fathers trust like that. I think DP knows I love him and DSD enough not to do that.

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 09-Feb-16 18:11:21

That's awful Hells, I just couldn't do that to DH and his kids, I couldn't live with myself if I did that, (I wouldn't anyway). Your family must hate her now.

Letitgoletitgo Tue 09-Feb-16 18:22:53

Hells, that's awful, and sadly not the first time I've heard stories like this, which is why I want to get it right! A friend of the family is being forced to sell her home against her wishes after he husband died because his children inherit.....

Speaking briefly to my solicitor about it, he has suggested being tenants in common but with 50% share each, then leaving our shares to our relevant dcs but with a life interest to the other partner should sort it as we want. There week be other insurances and monies that dcs will get immediately, but I just want to make sure noone ends up being made homeless! X

swingofthings Tue 09-Feb-16 18:43:24

The way to go is definitely via wills. I do believe you can stipulate that each can pass their half to the children but with a clause that the remaining owner can stay in the property indefinitely until sold.

The solicitor drawing your wills will be able to advise.

HormonalHeap Tue 09-Feb-16 21:05:58

We are doing our wills. Dh has 3, I have 2. Apart from a relatively small contribution from me, dh funded our house. If we both die together, dh wants everything split equally between the 5. If he goes first, the mortgage will be paid off by insurance so I stay in the home and each child gets a lump insurance payout for a flat deposit. All other assets will be put into a trust that I can use in my lifetime but will be equally split upon my death. This will be backed up (at my suggestion) by me making an irreversible will, as even though I know I would never betray my husband, I don't want him to have to even think about it. I think something similar happens if I die first.

Thankfulforeveryday Tue 09-Feb-16 21:10:07

We did our wills as tenants in common for a similar reason.

Flustarhymes Tue 09-Feb-16 22:07:46

We have something called a Flexible Life Interest Trust. As I understand it, it protects the inheritance of my DH's children. So if DH passes first, I can remain in the home etc (and vice versa), and I believe at the time I pass, it then gets all released. Of course it could be released earlier if I am in a position to. We have appointed trustees so that they can oversee it all. To be honest I forget the finer points of how it works. I need to write it down!

Emeralda Tue 09-Feb-16 22:08:46

I don't know the answer about tenants in common etc but life interest seems the most popular choice. I think a good solicitor could sort this out easily for you. I got my will sorted last year and have left my house to DS with a life interest to DP. Solicitor thought of lots of different scenarios eg what happens if DS dies before me and there's a clause for every possible eventuality. I suppose some of it could be upsetting to think about but far better to think about it rationally now. DP is even allowed move his next girlfriend in if DS or his trustees consent!
There's a Mumsnetter called Mumblechum who gives good advice on wills.
I got Power of Attorney sorted at the same time. Also worth checking who the nominated beneficiaries are for any pension or death in service benefits. If DC are young, it's worth thinking about when you want them to inherit (18/21/25?) and who you want to look after that money in the meantime (trustees?). Different solutions will suit different families but there's a legal clause for every scenario.

Micah Tue 09-Feb-16 22:14:42

If you get a decent solicitor to sort it out it should be fine.

My house is mine. I have left it to the dc, with the condition dh can live in it, or sell and buy another property, until he no longer wants it, dies, or remarries.

Dh's house now belongs to his ex-wife, so his children with her should get that.

WSM123 Tue 09-Feb-16 22:36:04

Also if you have a mortgage, get life insurance to the value of the mortgage so if one dies the other will be able to pay off the house, then it is their house

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