Why remarriage could cost your children their inheritance…

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It can be a sobering thought to consider what would happen to your children once you or your spouse pass away.

However, as life expectancy increases and the rates of re-marriage rise among older generations – it’s a wise idea to consider what the potential implications are on your children’s inheritance. 

Recent statistics are a testament to this, revealing that there were 105 High Court disputes over probate (the legal process of handling a will) in 2021. This was 68 cases more than the year previous year – and that’s without mentioning the thousands of other disputes which were resolved before reaching the courtroom. 

Let’s take a look at what to consider regarding your children’s inheritance task…

Your will isn’t valid once you remarry…

Firstly, it’s imperative to understand that if you choose to marry or remarry, your existing will automatically become null and void.  

This means that if you pass away without having made a new will, your children from a previous marriage may not be entitled to receive anything when you die. 

This comes as a surprise to many – and, of course, likely isn’t what you intended to happen. 

So, what can be done to protect your children’s wealth?

Writing a new will

It is vital that you make a new will after you marry, whether that be your first marriage or a re-marriage. This can ensure that your hard-earned assets are distributed according to your personal wishes. 

Without a new will following marriage, according to the inheritance laws in the UK, if you pass away, your spouse or civil partner, be it from your first, second, or third marriage, is legally entitled to inherit most or even all of your assets automatically. These rules prioritise your spouse, giving them precedence even over your own children.

While you can make minor modifications to your will through a codicil, we strongly advise drafting a new will after remarrying to circumvent any potential misunderstandings or conflicts when your time comes.

Creating a trust

Another great way to further safeguard your children’s inheritance is to create a trust within your will.

Essentially, a trust is a legal arrangement where one or more people (called the trustees) control your money or assets should you die or fall sick. This can ensure that your assets are kept separate from your spouse’s, ensuring that they cannot be given away to anyone else under the surviving partner’s will. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that setting up a trust can be complicated, so we always advise seeking professional assistance in doing this. 

Choose DRN Solicitors to protect your children’s inheritance…

The increasing trend of remarriage and its potential ramifications on your children’s inheritance is a crucial aspect of estate planning that requires careful consideration and deliberate action. 

Whether it’s crafting a new will or establishing a trust within your will, taking these steps can help ensure your assets are distributed as per your wishes, prioritising your children’s financial security and well-being. 

After all, the best way to provide peace of mind for your loved ones is through careful and comprehensive planning. Don’t let uncertainty cast a shadow over your family’s future. 

At DRN Solicitors, our priority is to help you safeguard your loved ones’ future. We provide expert guidance and assistance in reviewing current wills, drafting new ones, or offering advice tailored to your unique circumstances. 

Ring us on 01282 433241 or contact us here for assistance.