Wills and step children

(41 Posts)
MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:14:36

Please don’t judge. Genuine opinions needed please.

We will be drawing up our will soon. DH has two children, I have one. Originally, the plan was a three way split. However, the more I think about it, the more I think it’s unfair on my son. If i’d had 2 kids, it would have been a 4 way split. However, just because I only have 1, my 50% is diluted if you see what I mean. DSS and DSD are likely to inherit from other people but I genuinely think DS May only inherit from me.

What do you think? Is anyone else having a similar predicament ?

OP’s posts: |
pallisers Wed 12-Sep-18 22:15:22

I would split 50/50. Half to his children, half to yours.

dahliaaa Wed 12-Sep-18 22:17:00

I’m not in a similar position but it is something I have discussed with friends who are. If it was me I would want my half of any assets to go to my child.

dahliaaa Wed 12-Sep-18 22:18:48

Slight caveat to that - it might depend on if you went into the marriage with significantly less assets.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 12-Sep-18 22:18:51

I’d split it so your half goes entirely to your dc, his half is split between his children.

It’s how we’ve done our wills.

MaisyPops Wed 12-Sep-18 22:18:54

I would go his half / your half and then split accordingly to your children.

MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:19:45

I hope my husband will see the logic. I just feel like a 3 way split is my DS losing out because he’s an only child.

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RandomMess Wed 12-Sep-18 22:20:04

So neither of you inherit from the other, you are just going to have the right to live in the "marital" home?

drquin Wed 12-Sep-18 22:21:29

There was another similar thread in recent weeks ...... in summary, some folk agreed & some disagreed, same logic as you've said. The "other" inheritance may be assumed, but never guaranteed. A lot may depend on ages of children / specifics of your relationship. Most agreed that it's something you can review as the years go by.

SD1978 Wed 12-Sep-18 22:21:34

Who is the higher earner? Who has and will bring more into the relationship financially for its duration? Can you specify then a percentage based on that? If you earn less, provide less, then it's fair to split it less in your sons favour. If it's 50/50 then may be fairer to split it that way. Have you talked to your husband to see his view?

MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:21:50

@dahliaaa In fact I contributed £10k towards our house deposit so maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad 😀

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SD1978 Wed 12-Sep-18 22:22:36

How much equity did he contribute?

MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:23:49

We earn just about the same, very minimal difference. My pension is about 10 times his though due to a life in public service 😂 I will have to have the talk I think.

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MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:25:14

Equity wise, he contributed about £5k but he paid more for our wedding so swings and roundabouts really.

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MaisyPops Wed 12-Sep-18 22:26:00

Thinking aloud here but how will it work when one dies before the other?
E.g if he dies first do you have to buy out his 50% that would go to his children? Or do you inherit from him and then are free to do what you like in your will? (And vice versa)
Could there be a situation where the surviving partner is able to leave all 'their' assets following the death of partner 1 to their children and bypass their step children?
How does it work for inheritance tax as doesn't there have to be a direct descendent to get the better set up?

Haireverywhere Wed 12-Sep-18 22:35:29

My brother's done a three way split because when they considered all the variables above it was even stephens. Oh hang on the main reason he says (he's in my dining room) is because they didn't want the kids to feel hurt by an uneven split as they talk about them being a family just like all their friends and would hate the kids to feel both parents didn't love them all equally.

I don't know if that's what adult SC would think though!

MismatchedStripySocks Wed 12-Sep-18 22:36:19

We would have mirror wills so whoever dies first gets everything. I guess there is nothing stopping the surviving partner doing whatever they wanted but I know that neither of us would change what had been agreed.

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Haireverywhere Wed 12-Sep-18 22:37:04

My own thoughts are include some consideration of a common tragedy clause in case you're both in an accident (hopefully not!) as they'll potentially lose out massively otherwise.

pallisers Thu 13-Sep-18 00:38:27

We would have mirror wills so whoever dies first gets everything.

If you die first, your son will get nothing from your estate. I can almost guarantee this. Mirror wills can be changed. I would also say this to your dh about his children. Do not leave your only son with the only guarantee of his getting a share in your estate (all you've worked for all your life) depending on a step dad being honourable. just don't. I would say the same to your dh.

If you want your children to benefit equally from whatever is left when both of you die (and there may be nothing) you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to do this.

As it stands, if he dies, you get everything and you may or may not leave some of it to your step children eventually - who knows. things change. Ditto your dh. if you die first your son may get something eventually but may not.

How will your son manage if you die before he is 21? Have you provided for that in your will or is he an adult?

Wills aren't a statment of love and trust. They are a statement of how you want things to work with the money you've earned after you've gone. Be specific.

Blendingrock Thu 13-Sep-18 01:39:17

We are having this discussion at the moment. The only advice I can give you is to be open with your DH, bear in mind you need to be fair to everyone (which can be hard given the complexities of blended families) and get legal advice.

For us (assuming by DH and I are gone) it's 50/50 split at the moment, because that's appropriate to our circumstances and the various ages/circumstances of the kids. We will review it again in 5 or so years time as circumstances change and again in another 5 years after that. Eventually we will get to a point where a 50/50 split is neither fair nor appropriate and at that point it will be a 1/6th split between the kids.

User1983 Thu 13-Sep-18 01:52:44

Massively agree with pallisers

Snitzelvoncrumb Thu 13-Sep-18 02:07:58

Talk to the solicitor about different ways to do the will. For example you could leave your half to your son, not your husband. Your husband has a lifetime tenancy (your son can't kick him out) but you son already owns his half of the house. This way the will can't be changed to exclude your son, and if your husband remarries your son still gets his share in the event of divorce. Have your super or pension put in a trust fund for him, or leave that to your husband. This protects your son incase (sorry) something happens while you are younger.

lunar1 Thu 13-Sep-18 06:31:39

Absolutely what @pallisers said. There is no way I'd trust someone else with my children's legacy. Anything can happen in that time.

RedRosie Thu 13-Sep-18 07:06:45

A bit different perhaps ... I have no children, my DH has two (grown up) children. We have mirror wills for our whole joint estate, followed by a 40% inheritance for each of my DSC, 10% for my niece and 10% to charity. This depends on his trust in me to carry out his wishes should he go first, which I will.

We also have health/financial powers of attorney in place, and a letter of wishes which sits with the will and with our executors (who are not family, but rather younger close friends) with some small specific bequests (things like jewellery etc).

It felt surprisingly good to get this all in place, and I'd recommend doing it all properly and in good time, with a proper solicitor or professional will-writer.

Snitzelvoncrumb Thu 13-Sep-18 07:07:47

Also inheritance will never be equal in blended families. Kids may get money from other family members.

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