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Inheritance and step children, help

(38 Posts)
pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 15:43:27

I'm throwing this open for a bit of a debate and also to see what others do or would do in my set up.

I have married to dh and we have 2 children together aged 1&3. I have two step children aged 10&14. We did our wills a while ago and I am 100% happy with what we decided to do, ie whatever me and dh have split equally amongst the 4 children with no difference who dies first, or ages etc. very straight forward. Anyway me mum questioned the other day if I was happy with her money going to the step children and it got me thinking. My dh's parents inheritance will obviously eventually go to them as it will come to us then pass on, they will also inherit from their mums parents who are comparibly well off as my parents. So it does seem a little unfair that they then inherit from a third set of grandparents and our joint children will only inherit from 2 sets of which then part will be split with the step children. The step children and my mum do see each other, shared holidays once a year and do get birthday and Christmas presents, Easter eggs etc, so in general day to day ways she treats them all the same although obviously sees more of my children as the step children aren't always here.

So what do others do with wills and step children?

My idea was to buy an investment property with the lump sum from my mum as a deposit, mortgage for remaining money needed.put this house in trust for my two children. The rent would come into the family money, so either be saved, spent on a better family house or for extras day to day. Therefore that money would be enjoyed by all the children, added to our estate and split as per our will of equally splitting among all 4 kids. The rental house would then tick along until I died and it would then be split between my two children instead.

I think this sounds fair to all, as everyone on all sides owns their own property so everyone would benefit from property increases. I am not buying a house for my children, it will very much remain mine until I die, and that extra money would be used to help any of the kids through uni, help with cars or house deposits etc

Any thoughts

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 15:50:08

Of course I am aware that I may not get anything, but realistically there will be something between both of my parents

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 15:52:53

to be honest as a stepchild I could potentially benefit more than my half brothers and sisters, and if something was changed to prevent that I would not object. My bro would not see it that way though.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 14-Apr-14 15:58:59

DH and his sister were due to inherit a rather considerable sum from their dad but over the last ten years everything he had has been swallowed up in medical and care home bills. I won't inherit anything because it's all set to go to my brother who has special needs (totally fine by me) There is always a chance that there will be nothing to inherit so tbh it's not something I would give any further thought to it.

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 16:01:19

that is true itiswhatitis, best not to dwell on these things, we could be the first to go!

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 14-Apr-14 16:09:05

If your mum is really worried about it suggest she changes her will so your two children get some money when she dies rather than it all going to you. That way you aren't going to have any future upset about how you divided your will.

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 17:13:07

I am aware that I couldn't get anything but given that both my parents own their homes outright, and have savings and income that covers their everyday expenses it would be unlikely to get nothing and as my mum raised it, who already suffers with a very aggressive form of cancer, I feel it's fair to give it some thought and look for some solutions. Another option is that she passes her lump to her grandchildren directly so I'm not looking at it as a money grabbing plan, just a solution to what I imagine is a common problem

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 17:16:16

Isitwhat I don't actually think the step kids will have any issues. The older one actually said this weekend that she assumes her mums house will go to them and our house will go to our children, this conversation came about from another off the wall chat, not that I was probing her

expatinscotland Mon 14-Apr-14 17:19:36

Why don't you just buy the better family house with the money rather than this 'investment' property and borrowing more money to fund that.

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 17:33:09

Expat we already have a big enough house which is more than good enough and the funding of the better house would be a location move rather than size of the house. Due to schools and other bits, it would be for at least 15 years, so I'm thinking that by then we will used saved money and earnings to buy that rather than needing to wait for any lump. I hope that makes sense and not too snotty but we do take the view that out long term plans are for us to work towards not rely on inheritance for.

I'm i to conclude that everyone just lumps it in together and splits equally among them all to the disadvantage of my children and the advantage of the step children?

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 17:35:27

Oh that last comment sounded harsh re advantage /disadvantage. I didn't mean it to, I'm cooking tea and fending off a 1 year old from the oven!

weatherall Mon 14-Apr-14 17:39:18

If you die first your dh could change his will then assets could be split in a way you wouldn't want. Or he could remarry...

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 17:49:03

Another reason to protect my dc. The house would be in trust for them upon my death. Yes if dh remarried my family's estate money could end up being given to people I have never met let alone her.

clam Mon 14-Apr-14 17:51:55

Why don't you go and see a solicitor about this? It's a very common issue, particularly nowadays. My parents have sewn up their affairs very specifically due to an awkward "step" situation on my brother's side. I'm not sure of the details though, (as I'm not counting on a windfall - it's all highly likely to go towards their care and comfort in the future, and rightly so) but the solicitor had lots of possibilities up his sleeve.

swissfamily Mon 14-Apr-14 17:57:31

Actually our wills are made out so that what's mine is divided between my three children (all with DH) and what's ours / DH's is divided between all four of his children (the three we have together and my DSD).

I don't want my DSD to inherit from money / investments I had prior to meeting DH. Nor would I expect DSD to inherit from my parents.

I have property in my name that I owned before I met DH and that will only benefit my DC.

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 18:10:15

Thanks clam. I will need to do that and draw any trusts etc. It would be great to have a few thoughts in my head first so that it's not too overwhelming at the meeting. This was just one thought in my head, open to other ideas

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 18:20:33

Thanks Swiss. I also have my pre dh house, but as I moved a few hundred miles away from where I was to move in with him, it's a real pain keeping it, and I'm thinking if selling in and investing that money into his house by doing an extension with the capital. I had thought about just paying that mortgage off with any lump but the location of it just makes it awkward

brdgrl Mon 14-Apr-14 18:27:30

If we had anything to worry about leaving, we'd do it swissfamily's way - bulk of my assets to my DD alone; bulk of DH's assets divided between the 3 children (my/his DD; his two kids). I have one child to provide for; he has three.

I'd leave something for the DSC, but a modest gift...Obviously though it would all depend on the size of my imaginary fortune!

My DSC have already inherited from their mum (who left nothing for my & DH's DD) and from their paternal grandparents (ditto). I don't feel any compulsion to provide additional resources for them once they are adults.

I provide for them now, and if DH went before me I would continue to be the provider for the minor children.

Philoslothy Mon 14-Apr-14 18:27:42

I have five children of my own and a stepson.

As a couple we bought DHs former marital home for his ex wife and son to live in. My stepson will be the sole heir to this house, as he would have been if they had remained married - unless they had more children of course.

His ex wife has just remarried and the property has been signed over to my stepson in order to prevent it being lost to him.

Our home will be split between our other children. It is a bigger house and therefore although not quite big enough to give an equal amount as my stepson will get.

We also have a rental property which will be divided between all of the children equally - if we should have it as well as money from various policies.

My stepson will get more, however my biological children have been raised in one home by their mother and father so I feel no sense of loss on their behalf.

RufusTheReindeer Mon 14-Apr-14 18:39:06

My father has remarried

He brought money into the relationship (following the death of my mother) she brought nothing

If he dies all the money goes to her, technically when she dies she will split her will in four for her two children and my fathers two children. The same if she goes first

Either way her children "win" and we "lose"

That seems fair enough to me as they are now married and share everything equally.

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 18:41:27

Thank you everyone.

pmgkt Mon 14-Apr-14 18:45:50

Rufus both my parents are also remarried but have dealt with it in the total opposite way, own estates going to own children. But then each person owns their own house and is on a fairly level footing.

Can I just ask how you would feel, as the pp said, if your dad died and then she either remarried or change her will?

LtEveDallas Mon 14-Apr-14 19:00:33

DH and I have assets that are split 50/50 between the two of us. We have agreed that any inheritance from his mother goes to both of us, any inheritance from my mother goes to both of us, all equal shares.

If the worst happens and both of us were to die early, then all our assets would be used to bring up DD (in the care of SIL).
DH's 50% will be split between DD and DSD
My 50% will go directly to DD

So essentially DD will get 75%, DSD will get 25%, but of course DSD will also get 100% of her mothers assets too.

clam Mon 14-Apr-14 19:06:44

I know of a family where the father remarried, and then subsequently died, with all his assets ending up with his stepchildren. His biological children (all adults) asked if they might have one or two keepsakes still in the house from their grandparents' day (and no link to the step-siblings at all) and they were refused!

Solicitors have seen it all before.

RufusTheReindeer Mon 14-Apr-14 19:26:25


My brother is pissed off at the situation

I think I would be angry if she changed her will with my father dead as that's not what he wanted

Hadn't really thought about if she remarried but I suppose by the loci they are using they would have to have wills splitting the estate between her two kids, my dad's two and her new partners children

Good god this could go on for ever [shocked]

I'm hoping they spend all their money before then die!

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