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

edited 13 May 2014 at 6:04PM in Money Saving Polls
50 replies 20.6K views
Former_MSE_DarrylFormer_MSE_Darryl Former MSE
210 Posts
edited 13 May 2014 at 6:04PM in Money Saving 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



  • 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
  • whitewingwhitewing Forumite
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    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.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    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.
  • edited 13 May 2014 at 10:16PM
    usernamealreadytakenusernamealreadytaken Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 13 May 2014 at 10:16PM
    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.
  • TechnoTechno Forumite
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    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!
  • gloriouslyhappygloriouslyhappy Forumite
    544 Posts
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    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-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    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
  • oldtroutoldtrout Forumite
    129 Posts
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    MSE_Darryl wrote: »
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    HURRAY!! ... you've finally admitted the MMDs are 'hypothetical'
  • Avatar73Avatar73 Forumite
    14 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper 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!
  • marichmarich Forumite
    125 Posts
    YES and yes again ! You are a family , behave like one .
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