Been very naive....

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Hi, so ive written this post to get some advise.
I recently lost a parent very suddenly and as a consequence have had to help my widowed remaining parent through all the paperwork. This has made me think about my situation should my husband die. I realise now I have been very naive in assuming i'd be looked after. We have been married more than a decade, i have been the dutiful housewife and stay at home mum, have two young kids, live in a nice area. Except my husband does not have a will, does not have life insurance, the property is not jointly owned, bank accounts are not joint. Even the car is not in my name. When broaching the topic of death with him or planning for the future it does not go down well. Im really worried now, what if something were to happen to him? I seem to have more rights to things if i got a divorce? Is there anything I can do to protect myself and my kids?
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  • Pop_Up_Pirate
    Pop_Up_Pirate Posts: 801 Forumite
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    Yes, speak to your husband and tell him you want it sorting out.
    Don't take no for an answer.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,960 Forumite
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    Have a look at this with regards to intestacy rules.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/who-can-inherit-if-there-is-no-will-the-rules-of-intestacy/

    However when approaching the subject, you might want to start the conversation as being less about money and more about making sure the other partner and the kids are ok in all eventualities.
    What if one of you has an accident/becomes ill/loses capacity? Or heaven forbid, something happens to the both of you? Who would you want to have responsibility for your children.
    So can you start a conversation along the lines of all the what ifs and the impact they could have. Who would you both want making decisions for you if you do become unable to look after yourselves - then you can look at power of attorney and wills as part of forward planning.

    Having said that, everything in his name is a little unusual. Does he not want to talk about it because he's scared to plan for the future, or is he a control freak who doesn't want to open the door to the conversation about why everything is down to him? Depending on the answer, you might need to take different approaches.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • TonyMMM
    TonyMMM Posts: 3,387 Forumite
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    If he has no will, then everything would come to you and the children ...the rules of intestacy would apply:

    https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will

    Having kids,if they are still of dependent age, and no life insurance (and/or mortgage cover if needed) is pretty stupid - what about his/your pension provision ?

    Having at least one bank account in joint names will make things so much easier should one of you die suddenly - otherwise the survivor could have no access to any funds at all for some time.

    So important these things are dealt with jointly, and sad that some seem unable to do so.
  • Malthusian
    Malthusian Posts: 10,980 Forumite
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    student26 wrote: »
    Except my husband does not have a will, does not have life insurance, the property is not jointly owned, bank accounts are not joint. Even the car is not in my name. When broaching the topic of death with him or planning for the future it does not go down well.

    Then he needs to stop being a baby. Most children become able to discuss the concept of death around age 7. You have every good reason to be discussing this now and he shouldn't put it off any longer.

    You can take out life insurance on him without his consent - assuming that you can arrange the monthly premiums. (If you don't have enough control over your money to even arrange that, then you have a serious problem.) Only the person who is to own a life insurance policy (which could be you) has to fill in and sign the paperwork. The life assured (the person on whose death the money is paid) does not have to consent or sign anything.

    You both need to make Wills. If his estate is worth more than £250,000, then on death you would only get the first £250,000, personal possessions and half the remainder, with your children inheriting the rest (held in trust if they are too young to inherit). So they could end up inheriting a share of the house.

    Just a couple of pointers - the most important thing is to have a discussion about what either of you would do if the worst happens to the other. This is not just about you being provided for - what would he need in order to manage if you weren't there to look after the kids?
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    student26 wrote: »
    Except my husband does not have a will, does not have life insurance, the property is not jointly owned, bank accounts are not joint. Even the car is not in my name.

    When broaching the topic of death with him or planning for the future it does not go down well.

    Does he not care enough about you and the children to make sure that things will be sorted out smoothly if he should die before you?

    Have either of you thought about what would happen to the children if you both died? You both need wills and to make good choices about executors and guardians.
  • lika_86
    lika_86 Posts: 1,779 Forumite
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    Do you know for a fact that he doesn't have life insurance? Many people have it as a work benefit (for a nominal cost) or at least have a death in service benefit (which he would have to specifically nominate you as the recipient of). Alternatively, he may have taken out a policy when he bought the house.


    I agree that you should both, for the sake of the other and your children get this sorted out properly. Do you have an account and access to money in your own name? If he died tomorrow then his accounts would be frozen by the bank pending probate etc and so you'd have to be able to fund your costs from your own accounts. Could you do that?

    It's horrible to think of and nobody wants to think that they're going to die but unfortunately it happens and it's better to prepare for it and at least smooth the way for those left after.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    It could be a lightbulb moment for him if you get the paperwork that you would need to fill in after a death.

    Get two copies - get him to fill the paperwork in as if you had died; then you do the same for him.

    He should be able to see that you are going to have a lot more problems.

    At least you have an account in your name which you could carry on using. Does it have enough in it to carry you over several months?

    Are all the utilities in his name? All those would need changing - do you have access to the account numbers, etc.
  • OldMusicGuy
    OldMusicGuy Posts: 1,761 Forumite
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    edited 10 May 2017 at 12:44PM
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    Like others said, the most important thing to consider is how would you get access to money if your husband dies suddenly. The fact that everything is in his name isn't necessarily concerning but maybe he does need to think about things from your perspective rather than his. His unwillingness to discuss it may either be a naive desire to not discuss a "difficult" topic or it could be indication of controlling behaviour (he wants everything to be "his"). I don't want to make you paranoid, but maybe he has a mindset of "I don't want her to get access to my money if she runs off with someone else...." It's not uncommon in men (especially older ones like me), even though divorce laws mean you would get access to that money if you did split up.

    Your situation is not that different to mine. My wife gave up her career to look after our son and has done a great job of managing our lives as a "housewife." However, we never had a joint account and the house was in my name (although I did have a will and everything was left to her). In recent years we changed that, I put her on the deeds and changed my account into a joint account. I still run it as my account and she has a separate account but as my account has a large balance and access to our emergency fund, I want her to be able to access that immediately if I die.

    You should also discuss pension planning with him, even if it's not on the short term horizon. You need to know if you need to start doing pension saving for yourself if he isn't. That's something I have been discussing a lot with my wife recently, but then we are both approaching 60. She now knows how to get access to my SIPP, how much is in it, and I have been discussing with her how we manage that to fund our retirement.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    Depending on the total value, you'd get the lot anyway. You'd then have any mortgage to continue to pay, or pay off, or have to sell up the house.

    Ask him what he EXPECTS to happen if he just pops off "right now".

    He might think that there's no problem because you'd get it all - without thinking that you'd have £1.20 in your purse, no way of getting his money for awhile and the house would have to be sold.

    Maybe he just "assumes" too much.

    Don't ask him to sort it out without asking him how he thinks things stand right now. What does he think will happen?

    Write each item down .... then research "the reality". And, next time he's holding a child ask him "is that what you want for him/her?"
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
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    What do you mean by 'it doesn't go down well' when you discuss it?

    What are his issues/arguments/reasonsing?
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