Website Cookie Policy

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we’ll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.
See our cookie policy for more information.

Practice Areas

More Information

thepartners@wrigleys.co.uk

Leeds: 0113 244 6100

Sheffield: 0114 267 5588

FOLLOW WRIGLEYS:

Send us an enquiry
Close

Blended families and Wills

12 May 2020

Find out how Wills help you to provide for your "blended family" after your death.

We increasingly use the term "blended family". A blended family is where parents have had children from a previous relationship but all the family members come together as one family unit. If you die without a Will being in place then the rules of intestacy dictate who should inherit. These rules perhaps don’t reflect the modern society that we live in today. Under intestacy, the starting point is to presume that a large amount of the estate will go to the surviving spouse and/or surviving children. Step-children are completely ignored. It is possible to put in place a Will that will ensure a more fair distribution of your estate and provide for not just your blood relatives but others too.

It may help if I give you an example. Diane and Andrew got married 10 years ago. It is a second marriage for both of them. Diane has got two children from her first marriage called Matthew and Emily. Andrew has two daughters called Janet and Rachel. If we relied on intestacy then it is a lottery as to who would inherit. It is largely determined by who out of Diane and Andrew dies first. Diane and Andrew decide to put Wills in place so that all four of their children can benefit. Their Will says that when Diane dies her estate (including her half of the family home) will pass into an Asset Protection Trust. Andrew is going to be the main beneficiary. He can live in the family home for as long as he wants to and has access to some income and capital. However, the critical issue is that on Andrew's death (or if Diane was the second of the couple to die) then Diane's estate will be divided equally between Matthew, Emily, Janet and Rachel. Andrew's Will is along the same lines so that if he died first Diane receives a benefit but he has got the peace of mind to know that in the long run all four children will inherit.

It is worth noting that in this particular case Diane and Andrew both brought wealth to the marriage so it felt like the right thing for them as a couple to treat all four of their children equally. If one party had bought more capital assets to the marriage than the other then we could look at how the inheritance will be divided when the second of Diane and Andrew die.

This is complicated and it is not advisable to "have a go" yourself and do a homemade Will. At Wrigleys we are experienced professional advisors and can help you to put a Will in place that "does the right thing" by your loved ones.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact jane.netting@wrigleys.co.uk or peter.clarkson@wrigleys.co.uk  or any other member of the Private Client  team on 0114 2675588.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys Private Client team on Twitter.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors

Jane Netting View Biography

Jane Netting

Partner
Sheffield

27 Nov 2020

Can the Court of Protection save my means tested benefits after I inherit?

LMS a 21 year old with Sotos Syndrome, significant autism and some learning disability lacked the capacity to manage her own finances.

25 Nov 2020

Are workers protected after refusing to work because of health and safety fears?

High Court: UK has failed to implement EU law protecting workers from detriment on health and safety grounds.

24 Nov 2020

Financial recovery post-COVID: What is next for IHT & CGT?

Proposed reforms to IHT & CGT: How might the government balance its books in the long term & attempt to recover some of the financial costs of COVID?