Having remarried, your first priority is likely to be your new spouse’s welfare and material security. But how do you balance this with ensuring that your children receive an inheritance?
Many clients come to us with the view that simple mirror Wills, leaving the entire estate to each other on first death and then to the children on the second death, is the right solution. However, this can be extremely counterproductive – even though it is undoubtedly the most simple and tax efficient solution. If you die first, such a Will passes everything to your spouse, but there is then nothing to stop them changing their Will subsequently – on a remarriage or purely to reflect personal preferences – so as to leave everything to their own children, effectively disinheriting your children.
Even if you trust your spouse not to do such a thing (which, in my experience, is unfortunately naïve – if you need a very public example, just Google Lynda Bellingham), your spouse may remarry after you are gone, rendering their mirror Will invalid and themselves intestate, so that the bulk of their estate, including what was once your money, will go to their new spouse!
The better solution is to make Wills including trusts, which benefit not only your spouse but also your children and remoter descendants, protecting assets for the family for up to 125 years after your death.
Declarations of Trust regulate who is entitled to real property held on tenancies in common or by sole owners. Click here if you would like to learn more.