Noticed some changes? You can read all about the improvements we've made on the Forum in our latest announcement. We also have a new set of Forum rules so please take the time to give them a read and familiarise yourself.

Husband making a will...slightly complicated

Hi everyone,

So my husband turns 60 soon and neither of us has a will but due to some recent health events he's decided now is the time to look into one.
 
Our home is owned but just in my husbands name - I didn't have a very good credit history and based on my hubbies earnings at the time it gave us enough to buy the home we are still in.
He has grown children from a previous marriage and we also have a young child together.  He has always assumed that should anything happen to him that I would get the house and any money, pensions etc but I'm not sure that would be the case without a will.

This house has always been our home and our child's so if anything should happen to him, before me, we want to have the security of knowing it would still be ours and we also want to make sure that our son can stay in this home should anything happen to me as well.

He does have some savings so we've always said that his older children would get something from that and also his grandchildren.

We did look at just writing a will ourselves but guessing with it being a little more complicated a solicitor would be best?

Sorry if that all sounds like a lot of waffling but this is the first time we have properly spoken and I want to make sure we do things right.

Thank you for any help  :)

«13

Replies

  • MarconMarcon Forumite
    4.1K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Best way is indeed to consult a solicitor. The DIY approach isn't likely to end well!
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    best see a solicitor - there are lots of things to look at:

    - who would you want to be guardian of your child if you both died?
    - does husband want his older children to have money now or later?
    etc ec 
  • edited 10 April at 1:02PM
    RASRAS Forumite
    29.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 10 April at 1:02PM
    This is definitely an area where you need to get proper advice. Does your husband has life insurance to cover any outstanding mortgage?

    Under the rules of intestacy you'd get the first £270,000 of the estate and the rest is divvied up between you and other beneficiaries. So if the house is worth more than £270,000 that raises issues.

    So he needs a will.  The other thing is that you both need to take on board the possibility that if he died you might end up remarrying, even 20 years down the line. In which case your new husband could end up inheriting some or all of the assets, and nothing going to any of his children, as any will made by you prior to that would be invalid and it's easy to transfer a property to shared ownership. There could also be problems if that second marriage ended in divorce

    You would be wise to sit down together, think through various scenarios and decide what you would want to happen in each case. Then when you meet a solicitor, you've covered a lot of ground. A good STEP solicitor should spot any gaps in your planning.

    My personal views are

    You need to be able to live in the house until your death, or your need to move (and use the funds to buy the new house).
    Your son would benefit from living in the house until his majority but it may need to be sold if you both died before then and he needs to be cared for by someone else.
    You need to make provision for all the children, if there are sufficient funds. 

    However it may be good for your husband to leave half the property in trust to the children, as that at least secures half the value for them if you remarry. 

    Based on previous family examples, I'd also suggest that you need to take into account the wider family situation. At his age, your husband may have surviving parents or other relatives from whom he or his children might inherit? Or his ex-wife might be extremely well off,  or on a very low income, both which affects their likely future prospects. In one case a grandparent only bequeathed money to the children of first family. So when the parent from the second family died, those who had not benefited from the grandparent shared half the assets, and all the children shared the second half, with a letter of wishes explaining the difference.
     
    Which also underlines why you also need a will and why basic mirror wills would not be a good idea.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
    8.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    But you are very wise to work out as much as you can of what you want to happen and contingencies before hand to make the best use of the solicitor's time you are paying for.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    34.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    You both need to make wills.

    While all the 'what ifs' are being discussed, sort yours out as well as his.
  • clare1angelclare1angel Forumite
    177 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    RAS said:
    This is definitely an area where you need to get proper advice. Does your husband has life insurance to cover any outstanding mortgage?

    Under the rules of intestacy you'd get the first £270,000 of the estate and the rest is divvied up between you and other beneficiaries. So if the house is worth more than £270,000 that raises issues.

    So he needs a will.  The other thing is that you both need to take on board the possibility that if he died you might end up remarrying, even 20 years down the line. In which case your new husband could end up inheriting some or all of the assets, and nothing going to any of his children, as any will made by you prior to that would be invalid and it's easy to transfer a property to shared ownership. There could also be problems if that second marriage ended in divorce

    You would be wise to sit down together, think through various scenarios and decide what you would want to happen in each case. Then when you meet a solicitor, you've covered a lot of ground. A good STEP solicitor should spot any gaps in your planning.

    My personal views are

    You need to be able to live in the house until your death, or your need to move (and use the funds to buy the new house).
    Your son would benefit from living in the house until his majority but it may need to be sold if you both died before then and he needs to be cared for by someone else.
    You need to make provision for all the children, if there are sufficient funds. 

    However it may be good for your husband to leave half the property in trust to the children, as that at least secures half the value for them if you remarry. 

    Based on previous family examples, I'd also suggest that you need to take into account the wider family situation. At his age, your husband may have surviving parents or other relatives from whom he or his children might inherit? Or his ex-wife might be extremely well off,  or on a very low income, both which affects their likely future prospects. In one case a grandparent only bequeathed money to the children of first family. So when the parent from the second family died, those who had not benefited from the grandparent shared half the assets, and all the children shared the second half, with a letter of wishes explaining the difference.
     
    Which also underlines why you also need a will and why basic mirror wills would not be a good idea.
    Thank you for your very detailed reply it is very much appreciated.

    There is no outstanding mortgage and it's well below £270,000 but he does have savings and is due to get a private pension when he turns 60 which includes a lump sum of around £45,000.

    Good point about remarrying - obviously no one knows what the future may hold and I wouldn't want any of the children to lose anything.

    We will sit and write out what we would both like to happen and then look in to a solicitor.

    Thank you
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    9.4K Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Agree you both need a will, and I would also look at changing the ownership from sole to joint. It is only in his name because it was easier to get a mortgage that way. If you divorced it would certainly be treated as a marital asset rather than be a sole asset of your husband.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    He needs to see a solicitor.

    And two points others have already made:

    (1) You should get a will done at the same time.  You might think that is unnecessary as everything is in his name at the moment, but what if he dies and you die shortly after him?  Or you both die together (eg car accident)?  A solicitor will help you work through the options.

    (2)  It will help the solicitor if you and your husband have thought through as many different "what if" scenarios as you can think of yourselves.  What happens re your child if you both die together for instance?  From your opening post it sounds like you've already started thinking about this - good.

    I think the usual advice in your sort of family situation is to look for a STEP solicitor


    Phone around and get some quotes.  It might seem expensive but it's cheaper to get it done properly now than leaving the survivor in an expensive mess.  Look at about £500 as a benchmark?  (Depends where you live in the country)

  • clare1angelclare1angel Forumite
    177 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Agree you both need a will, and I would also look at changing the ownership from sole to joint. It is only in his name because it was easier to get a mortgage that way. If you divorced it would certainly be treated as a marital asset rather than be a sole asset of your husband.
    I will have to look into this as didn't know if it was something we could change.  The house is paid off now so I'm guessing it would mean adding my name to the deeds?
  • edited 10 April at 2:26PM
    RASRAS Forumite
    29.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 10 April at 2:26PM
    Agree you both need a will, and I would also look at changing the ownership from sole to joint. It is only in his name because it was easier to get a mortgage that way. If you divorced it would certainly be treated as a marital asset rather than be a sole asset of your husband.
    I will have to look into this as didn't know if it was something we could change.  The house is paid off now so I'm guessing it would mean adding my name to the deeds?
    This is one area where you both need advice. If the house becomes a joint tenancy then is passes to the sole survivor on death. Which sounds great as it is removed from your husband's estate but more or less excludes the children from his first family from ever inheriting any value anytime from the house if he dies before or at the same time as you (even if for example you, husband and son all died in a car crash). 

    You could also be tenants in common, with your husband's portion being subject to a trust after his death, allowing you to live their but ensuring one or more of the children inherit it after your death even if you remarry. There are potential complications with this as well, which is why you both need to talk to a solicitor.

    Nothing to stop you then doing the paperwork yourselves when you've decided.

    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
Sign In or Register to comment.