Wills and blended families: is there a perfect recipe?
It’s true you can't please everyone, but it’s even more difficult for blended families - so when it comes to planning your will, how can you make sure everyone is happy?
A simple will?
If you’ve remarried and you have more children, or gain step-children, you’ll want to make sure that all will inherit fairly. The more popular option is a simple mirror will. It will state something like “I give all my assets to my husband, but if he dies before me, then to our respective children in equal shares.”
This is fine, however, you might find your run into issues later on, particularly if the surviving spouse remarries as there will be no guarantee that your children’s inherited inheritance will reach them.
It also relies on the surviving partner not changing their will after being widowed, or if they require care, all assets that have become theirs would be used to pay for that care - so the inheritance would be eaten away quite quickly.
You could consider a ‘Life Interest Trust’ in your will
This option allows your spouse to enjoy the benefit of your assets while they’re alive. This would see them receive an income from any investments or live in any property included in the trust but ultimately, they would not own those assets.
With property often being a person’s biggest asset, a trust ensures your partner has the security of a home while they’re alive, but also leaves your property ring-fenced for your children.
Life Interest Trusts are beneficial for surviving partners, as well as any children in the family, or whoever else you want to ensure is looked after once you’ve passed.
Don’t be tempted to cut corners!
While this all may sound complicated, a specialist solicitor can help you. It might be tempting to think about avoiding a will altogether, but if you do this, when you pass away, your estate will likely only pass to direct descendants - so your step children risk being left out.
When planning for later life, it’s always best to speak with a professional. Contact the Private Client team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help