Will info help please

We are just about to buy our house together in our late 40’s. I have one son 23 and partner has son 19 and daughter 29. 
My question is: if one partner dies what can be put in place for the other partner not to sell up and spend all the money on whatever? Clearly the kids should be last to benefit on both dying but we would both like the other to enjoy life in the event one dies earlier than the other. Should there be a cap on what could be spent out of the house eg £50k in total or a percentage of the house eg 20%


  • msb1234msb1234 Forumite
    326 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    if you if you buy as tennants in common, then you each own a % (usually 50/50 but can be a different proportion). When the first owner dies, their share can be willed to whomever they want. If they want the other partner to be able to continue living in the house a trust can be set up so the survivor is able to do that. 
    If you buy as joint tennants, upon the death of the first owner, the second owner gets the whole house. 
  • wozzza72wozzza72 Forumite
    83 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts
    This is the case: If you buy as joint tennants, upon the death of the first owner, the second owner gets the whole house. 
    We want to make sure there is a third left for the 3 kids but also want to make sure the surviving partner enjoys life, but not too much :smile:
  • mrschaucermrschaucer Forumite
    951 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    So buy as tenants in common, with you writing a will to ensure that your portion is put into trust to enable your partner to continue living in the house/move somewhere smaller if desired, but with the ultimate beneficiary of that trust being your son.  Your partner would write a similar will leaving his/her share in trust with the beneficiaries being his/her two children.  If either of you decided to "enjoy life too much", the only people to suffer would be that person's own children ... 
  • doodlingdoodling Forumite
    588 Posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper

    There is no simple solution to achieve what you want.

    The easiest thing to do is to hold the property as tenants in common and you can then leave your share to whoever you want and your partner can leave their share to whoever they want. You probably want to create a simple post death life interest trust in your will giving your partner the right to live in the house until they die, despite you sharing your share amongst the three kids.

    If you want something which more precisely matches what you have asked for then your only other option is to do something with a trust which will have cost, tax and inflexibility implications - I don't recommend that. If you do go down that path then bear in mind that it might be irreversible.

    Note that, if you achieve what you want, you might be condemning your partner (or yourself, if you have mirror wills) to living out their final years in a poor quality care home when they could have afforded something much better, if only they hadn't given away a third of their money to a trust for the kids.

    I suggest a discussion with the solicitor writing your wills would be good next step - they will be better able to identify the options and suggest what is best for you.
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