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    • Rosie1978
    • By Rosie1978 19th Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    • 121Posts
    • 311Thanks
    Rosie1978
    Would this will make me an awful person?
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    Would this will make me an awful person? 19th Apr 17 at 9:13 AM
    Hello,

    I'm beginning the process of looking at wills for myself and DH but I've got a bit of a dilemma.

    Despite being together decades, our finances are still very separate. We have a joint account for house, bills etc but we hold separate accounts for everything else and generally go 50/50 on any other bits. Maybe weird to some but it's always worked for us and I'm extremely proud of being financially independent.

    We have no children though, and this is where we have the dilemma. If one of us dies, whatever 'estate' we have goes to the other until they die. Fair enough.

    But at that point, when both of us are dead, then what? Neither of our parents need the money, if they are even still living at that point.

    I'd like for the estate to be split 50/50 and for 'my' half to be shared between my nieces/nephew (x3) and for his 'half' to be shared between his nieces/nephews (x12). The reason for this isn't because I don't love them any less - I adore them all - but on his side of the family, let's just say money will never be an issue, whereas on mine it will be and the money we leave them could seriously positively impact my DN's lives.

    But does this make me a horrible person? I don't want there to be any resentment and I love them all. I'm so torn!
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
    • 2,153 Posts
    • 1,749 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:43 AM
    Hello,

    I'm beginning the process of looking at wills for myself and DH but I've got a bit of a dilemma.

    Despite being together decades, our finances are still very separate. We have a joint account for house, bills etc but we hold separate accounts for everything else and generally go 50/50 on any other bits. Maybe weird to some but it's always worked for us and I'm extremely proud of being financially independent.

    We have no children though, and this is where we have the dilemma. If one of us dies, whatever 'estate' we have goes to the other until they die. Fair enough.

    But at that point, when both of us are dead, then what? Neither of our parents need the money, if they are even still living at that point.

    I'd like for the estate to be split 50/50 and for 'my' half to be shared between my nieces/nephew (x3) and for his 'half' to be shared between his nieces/nephews (x12). The reason for this isn't because I don't love them any less - I adore them all - but on his side of the family, let's just say money will never be an issue, whereas on mine it will be and the money we leave them could seriously positively impact my DN's lives.

    But does this make me a horrible person? I don't want there to be any resentment and I love them all. I'm so torn!
    Originally posted by Rosie1978
    It does not make you a horrible person! In fact you are being very sensible and caring. Well done you! You are entitled to do as you wish with your will. You really need to have a discussion with your DH and decide what you both want to do. Unfortunately legacies brings out the worst in some relatives. You both need to make wills that cover the various eventualities and any decent solicitor should be able to do this. You can also eave letters to be kept with the wills explaining your choice of heirs. This should greatly reduce the possibility of any challenges to the wills in future. Also remember that wills need to be reviewed and if need be updated at least every five years as circumstances can change.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 19-04-2017 at 11:12 AM.
    • Brighty
    • By Brighty 19th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    • 589 Posts
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    Brighty
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    Don't think that makes you an awful person, it's what i'd do.

    What you need to make sure of though, is you don't leave your half to your partner in your will, otherwise, if you die first, the whole lot would go to whoever is in his will, which he could easily change after you're gone, or he could remarry and his new wife gets the lot. Your will cannot control what he does with your half if you leave it to him.

    First, make sure the house is owned as tenants in common and not joint tenants, otherwise it will automatically go to your partner and not as per your will. If it is currently 'joint tenants' it's easy enough to 'sever' the joint tenancy to make it tenants in common, just fill in land registry form 'SEV'

    Then, make a will leaving everything (or just your half the house if you want cash/belongings to go to partner) to your nieces/nephew, but with a 'life interest' for your partner, so if you go first, they can keep living there until they die, at which point your nieces/nephews get their share. You can also stipulate they get their share should partner remarry, or move or downsize if you wish.

    Your partner then make a similar will, leaving everything to his nieces/nephews, with the same 'life interest' for you

    Brighty
    • Rosie1978
    • By Rosie1978 19th Apr 17, 12:30 PM
    • 121 Posts
    • 311 Thanks
    Rosie1978
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 12:30 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 12:30 PM
    Ahhhhh thank you very much - this seems a lot simpler than I was hoping and thank you for your kind words!

    Now to save up to get a will properly written out by a solicitor! And to decide who on earth will be executor! I'm not being morbid, I just think it's a good idea to get these things sorted.

    Thanks again!
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 19th Apr 17, 12:55 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 239 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 12:55 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 12:55 PM
    OP - my wife and I are in a similar situation to yourselves (no children) and we have already had wills executed doing exactly what you contemplate, distributing assets to various nieces and nephews.


    It makes you a very sensible person (but I suppose I would say that, wouldn't I!)


    EDIT: I should add that we had long and frank discussions about doing this before getting the wills done. Also, because we recognised that each of us had contributed in different proportions (60:40) to our joint assets, the final distribution to our respective nieces and nephews reflects this. (ie one set of nieces and nephews will get 50% more than the others).
    Last edited by Manxman in exile; 19-04-2017 at 1:03 PM.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 19th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,169 Posts
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    kathrynha
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:01 PM
    It makes sense, and it's your money to do with what you want. Anyway, doesn't matter if people think you're an awful person, you'll be dead by the time people find out what is in your will unless yo chose to tell them now
    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
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    • Tammykitty
    • By Tammykitty 19th Apr 17, 1:04 PM
    • 432 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Tammykitty
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:04 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:04 PM
    We are in a similar situation too, but have no nieces and nephews either!


    At the minute we don't have a will as we are happy with the intestate rules
    Weight Loss Challenge
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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 19th Apr 17, 1:42 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
    • 1,749 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:42 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:42 PM
    We are in a similar situation too, but have no nieces and nephews either!


    At the minute we don't have a will as we are happy with the intestate rules
    Originally posted by Tammykitty
    The only problem with the intestacy rules is it could end up going to the government and it may be difficult and costly to administer. Please consider a local hospice or the RNLI that have a good reputation for low overheads as well as being good causes.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 19th Apr 17, 1:50 PM
    • 2,904 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:50 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:50 PM
    We are in a similar situation too, but have no nieces and nephews either!


    At the minute we don't have a will as we are happy with the intestate rules
    Originally posted by Tammykitty
    That is bonkers, surely you have causes or charities you would prefer your assets to eventually go to rather than long lost, never met, relatives or the government.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 20th Apr 17, 6:17 PM
    • 565 Posts
    • 600 Thanks
    ThePants999
    I'm sorry, OP, but this isn't nearly as simple as has been implied so far - because you said this.
    We have no children though, and this is where we have the dilemma. If one of us dies, whatever 'estate' we have goes to the other until they die.
    Originally posted by Rosie1978
    This greatly complicates things. There isn't a simple "two-stage" process, whereby you can say "my money goes to my husband while he's alive, and then to my family when he dies". If you leave your money to your family, they get it as soon as you die, whether he's alive or not. If you leave your money to your husband, he gets it when you die, and what happens to it when he dies is entirely governed by HIS will.

    You should get a solicitor's advice, but there are generally two approaches:
    - Trusts/life interests. You can leave your half of the house, for example, to your nieces and nephews, but with a clause that says your husband can live in it for the rest of his life. You could leave your money in trust for them, with the interest going to him (but he'd have no access to the capital.)
    - Mirror wills, where you each leave your estate to the other if survived, or the whole lot to your families in an agreed split if not. This can achieve precisely what you want, i.e. your husband gets your share if he survives you, and then your 50% gets split between your family when he dies. However, it would require a massive amount of trust on your part, because after you die, absolutely nothing but his conscience would prevent him from changing his will to do whatever he likes - your family may never see a penny.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 20th Apr 17, 9:42 PM
    • 2,953 Posts
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    jackyann
    Sounds like you know what you want to happen, but you haven't yet discussed it with your OH. Legally, you don't need to, but you definitely do from a relationship point of view.
    You definitely need a solicitor, but it will save time and money if you have already agreed what you want the outcome to be. What you have described is slightly complicated, but fairly common, and a solicitor will discuss the best way of achieving this (some of which will depend on the size of your assets)
    I will add my usual caveat when the 'life interest in the property' is mentioned. Make sure that the property can be sold and another one purchased, within that. Otherwise you end up in the position where the surviving spouse is stuck in an unsuitable house.

    Well done for thinking well ahead.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 20th Apr 17, 11:49 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 239 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    - Mirror wills, where you each leave your estate to the other if survived, or the whole lot to your families in an agreed split if not. This can achieve precisely what you want, i.e. your husband gets your share if he survives you, and then your 50% gets split between your family when he dies. However, it would require a massive amount of trust on your part, because after you die, absolutely nothing but his conscience would prevent him from changing his will to do whatever he likes - your family may never see a penny.
    Originally posted by ThePants999

    This is what we have done as in my post #5.


    But you are right about trusting the surviving spouse. It happened within my family where one spouse died (leaving children and grand children) and the surviving spouse remarried and left virtually everything to their new spouse when they died. The new spouse is meant to do "right" by the children and grandchildren of the first marriage when they die, but who knows what will happen? Nevertheless, this is the route we've chosen. We've taken the view that if you're married you have to trust each other.


    But this is why the OP needs a frank discussion with their OH, and they definitely need to seek legal advice on how best to achieve their ends and what all the potential scenarios and pitfalls are.
    • Brighty
    • By Brighty 21st Apr 17, 12:56 AM
    • 589 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Brighty
    This is what we have done as in my post #5.


    But you are right about trusting the surviving spouse. It happened within my family where one spouse died (leaving children and grand children) and the surviving spouse remarried and left virtually everything to their new spouse when they died. The new spouse is meant to do "right" by the children and grandchildren of the first marriage when they die, but who knows what will happen? Nevertheless, this is the route we've chosen. We've taken the view that if you're married you have to trust each other.


    But this is why the OP needs a frank discussion with their OH, and they definitely need to seek legal advice on how best to achieve their ends and what all the potential scenarios and pitfalls are.
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    There's 2 big downsides to that approach
    1. If you leave everything to your spouse and they then need to go into a care home, the whole lot will be lost.
    2. If after you're gone, your partner remarries, their existing will is invalid, so could easily die intestate, meaning new wife gets the lot.

    Leaving your half elsewhere, with a life interest for the surviving spouse avoids both of those
    • Rosie1978
    • By Rosie1978 21st Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    • 121 Posts
    • 311 Thanks
    Rosie1978
    Thank you everyone so much - these are very good points to consider. I have discussed it with my OH and while he agrees with it, he's really not open to paying to create a will as we are only in our late thirties.

    My point is that unfortunately, life has a way of catching you unawares and it's the situation a friend has found herself in that has prompted these thoughts sadly.

    I'll take note of all of the above because while I trust him 100%, if I pop off first, who's to know he won't be misled or tricked by anyone as he grows older? I'd rather get it all locked down then there's no question!

    And I promise that if it's him that goes first that I won't blow it all on round the world cruises and champagne. Promise!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 9:21 AM
    • 58,026 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    My aunty died about 10 years ago, a couple of years later her husband left the entire estate (£500k+, possibly £1million+) to some random local handyman/gardener!

    Dad was "furious", I've never seen him angry before, but he thought aunty's half should've "gone to family", her 3 surviving siblings.

    If you have specific wishes you HAVE to make a will - because the one that lasts longest gets ALL the money for their family alone... or their new wife/husband or random handyman.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 21st Apr 17, 9:48 AM
    • 1,861 Posts
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    Malthusian
    There's 2 big downsides to that approach
    1. If you leave everything to your spouse and they then need to go into a care home, the whole lot will be lost.
    2. If after you're gone, your partner remarries, their existing will is invalid, so could easily die intestate, meaning new wife gets the lot.
    Originally posted by Brighty
    1 is a very remote possibility as they would only lose the lot if they were in the care home long enough to exhaust all (or nearly all) of their assets and fall back on to the council. The average stay in a care home is 2 years.

    An option that AFAICS has not been mentioned is to be very generous to your kids while you are still alive, if you have spare cash. If you have the money to be generous to them throughout your lifetime then it will not cause so much of a problem if you die and your spouse remarries and by negligence or design leaves it all to the new one. And it's more satisfying and more tax-efficient.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 21st Apr 17, 9:50 AM
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    brewerdave

    And I promise that if it's him that goes first that I won't blow it all on round the world cruises and champagne. Promise!
    Originally posted by Rosie1978
    ...why not ?? Can't enjoy it from beyond the grave
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 21st Apr 17, 10:49 AM
    • 565 Posts
    • 600 Thanks
    ThePants999
    An option that AFAICS has not been mentioned is to be very generous to your kids while you are still alive
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    That option hasn't been mentioned because the OP doesn't have any kids, and I imagine there's a limit to how generous she wants to be to nieces and nephews :-)
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 21st Apr 17, 11:40 AM
    • 1,049 Posts
    • 1,553 Thanks
    FreeBear
    We are in a similar situation too, but have no nieces and nephews either!

    At the minute we don't have a will as we are happy with the intestate rules
    Originally posted by Tammykitty
    No children and no OH - Got one niece and some sniffling little illegitimate issue of the black sh*t of the family. No way an I letting the latter benefit from my estate when I'm gone. So Sis & niece get a sizable chunk each and the rest goes to the children of a close friend.

    The BS does get a mention in my will in as much as to say any claim from BS is to be strongly defended by the executors.
    Her courage will change the world.

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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 21st Apr 17, 1:07 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    I was interested to find that even though I have no close blood relatives my solicitor still asked me to provide an outline of reasons for my choice of beneficiaries to be kept with, but not forming part of, my will. The bulk goes to one of a close friend's children. This was my choice because the other two have spouses with well to do parents whereas my choice has no potential family wealth from their spouse. I cannot imagine that the other two would have any legitimate claim but my solicitor obviously wanted to cover any eventuality. Good for her. Knowing the family very well indeed I can't imagine they would even consider such a claim but having said that this forum repeatedly shows how greedy people can be.
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