Money Moral Dilemma: Should we change our wills to benefit our stepchildren?

Former_MSE_Darryl Posts: 210 Forumite
edited 13 May 2014 at 5:04PM in MoneySaving polls
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should we change our wills to benefit our stepchildren?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks... When we married 30 years ago, my wife had three teenagers and I had a toddler. We set a joint will up so half was to go to my son with the rest split between my wife's children. It seemed fair then, as all our assets had been built up by me before we married. But now it doesn't seem as fair. I've had at least as much involvement with my stepchildren as my son, and a bigger share of our assets would change their lives. Should we change it to equal shares, denying my son a bigger sum?
Click reply to have your say



  • double_mummy
    double_mummy Posts: 3,989
    Combo Breaker First Post
    you have a wife an 4 kids - split it 25% each

    is there any specific reason that your son needs a larger share?

    these are all adults now why not sit own and discuss it like adults and get the issues sorted out
    The only people I have to answer to are my beautiful babies aged 8 and 5
  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    split equally.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    30 years is a lifetime ago ... I think it's fair to say split equally 4 ways now. If it were 2 years ago I'd say differently.

    But I'd also take into account their individual financial situations and the relationships between each other over that time, to see if there are any problems it might cause "after the event".

    If I had a chat with anybody I'd do it one to one with the sole son first .... giving them time to think the answer through (say 1-2 weeks), before listening to their viewpoint.
  • usernamealreadytaken
    usernamealreadytaken Posts: 12
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 13 May 2014 at 9:16PM
    I agree in principal that the split should be four ways after such a length of time, but are there any other circumstances to take in to consideration?

    My husband and I discussed similar as he has two children from a previous relationship and we are keen that they are included fairly in the split of our estate (we also have two children together).

    When my husband split from his then-girlfriend, he didn't take any money from the property, he left all of his share of the house for his daughters as part of their inheritance from him, so we will take that in to account when the time comes.

    We have both worked very hard during our time together and have built everything that we have together from nothing, so that all our four children can benefit.

    Hope that helps.
  • Techno
    Techno Posts: 1,169
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    How about whatever was brought into the relationship 30 years ago is split as you originally intended - anything since is split 4 ways - bit like a pre-nup.
    ;) If you think you are too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito!
  • Thirty years together as one family would suggest an equal share of the assets to all the children would be appropriate and fair. Is there an inheritance from your stepchildren's father, or your son's mother, to be taken into consideration? If so, then an adjustment might be in order.

    Whatever you decide, may I please urge you to inform everyone in advance so when the time comes, the surviving spouse doesn't have any family tensions to deal with at an already difficult time.. may that time be in the far distance..
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Posts: 36,755
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic Combo Breaker
    After thirty years I would split it four ways.

    If it was only a short time, I would do what you originally did.

    Times and circumstances change.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • oldtrout
    oldtrout Posts: 129
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MSE_Darryl wrote: »
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    HURRAY!! ... you've finally admitted the MMDs are 'hypothetical'
  • Avatar73
    Avatar73 Posts: 14
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    oldtrout wrote: »
    HURRAY!! ... you've finally admitted the MMDs are 'hypothetical'

    Umm..... along with the previous umpteen weeks that's also been stated!
  • marich
    marich Posts: 125 Forumite
    YES and yes again ! You are a family , behave like one .
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