What to do in this situation regarding everything being left to stepchildren

I know this is going to sound grabby, but that is not my intention, I am just a bit shocked at finding out my DH has left everything to his 2 DD's in the will, including half of the house that I currently own in my name only...

DH and I have been married for 8 years - I bought a second property 3 years ago in my name only, i paid 60% of the deposit but DH did not contribute anything.  He pays the mortgage with me 50/50 (but isn't named on the mortgage or title deeds).  Our current home I put down 70% of the deposit and DH did not contribute anything but again, pays 50/50 with me on the mortgage and he is on the mortgage and title deeds - we are joint tenants.

We needed to get our wills sorted so I've done mine that transfers everything to DH (house/money/car etc)

He has done his but has left 50% of the house I own in my name, and also 50% of our current home, into a trust which means I am allowed to live in our current home (or any future house we buy together)  until I die but if i want to move or if i meet someone else then the 50% of the sale goes immediately to DD's, which then means I have contributed 70+% already into the house but will only get 50% back...

His solicitor has told him that it doesn't matter that I currently have the other house in my name only because in the eyes of the law it is "our" home, therefore if anything happens to DH then DD's could somehow legally obtain their 50% trust in the property, because his intention was that they receive half of it.  His solicitor has also told him that it doesn't matter that we are joint tenants on our home because again, his intention was his share to be left to his DD so it could be contested if the whole property automatically transferred over to me. 

He has left everything else (car, business, money etc) to his DD.

I don't know if I have any right to feel upset about this seeing as he is only looking out for his DD but I always assumed that the house would automatically transfer to me, especially since I put 70% of the deposit down.

I'm not really bothered about him leaving everything else to his DD if that's his wishes but I'm really quite upset about the fact that my home won't really be "mine" after his days, and any value i add after his days will not be beneficial to me in the long term.

I'm sorry if i sound quite grabby, I just worry that if i ever needed to downsize/move for whatever reason then I won't have as much to go to the next place, it actually makes me not want to put any more of my money into the house. We were planning on buying a new kitchen (that I would be paying for because DH doesn't have any savings) but now i'm thinking why bother?! Obviously this is only relevant if he goes before me!



  • poppystar
    poppystar Forumite Posts: 1,127
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I think I’d feel much the same. I can’t understand why a solicitor would write a Will where the beneficiaries would have to contest the house ownership!  
    On the other hand, of course, in my parents generation there was often only one breadwinner, the husband, and women accepted the house would become theirs to do as they would with once their husbands had gone. So maybe it isn’t so strange and this is just a reversal of the gender roles.  
    Do you have children yourself? Would you be intending to leave your estate to the DDs if you outlive your other half? 
  • Purbeck14
    Purbeck14 Forumite Posts: 159
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    You don't sound grabby. If you put in the 70% plus into the house ( financially and possibly other ways too) then your husband is being unfair, and you must tell him so. The option is there for him to give you the 'extra share' in cash now, but as  you say he doesn't have savings for improvements that seems unlikely. You need to talk to him and personally I would suggest talking to your own  solictor.    
  • Brie
    Brie Forumite Posts: 7,443
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    Well I read that to mean that if DH dies first and SDs get grabby it would be up to them to prove that he owned the property.  (I might be wrong).  Certainly you could contest the will if it is an issue - but who wants to do that?  It's costly and it would likely be an emotional time.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”

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  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Forumite Posts: 5,651
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    I would be very disappointed if my husband did that to me.  Ok possibly with the property but to give his daughters everything, no way.  Will you be able to afford to live on your own when he dies?  Do you have enough income?  No way would I be doing anything other than looking after my own financial future if my husband had shown such disregard for me.  
  • theoretica
    theoretica Forumite Posts: 12,065
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    I am surprised at the solicitor's advice that whose name the property is in and joint tenants doesn't matter.  What does your solicitor say about this?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Annisele
    Annisele Forumite Posts: 4,814
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Are you absolutely certain that you own your marital home as joint tenants (rather than tenants in common)? If so, then your wills will be irrelevant to what happens after his (or your) death. See https://www.gov.uk/joint-property-ownership for an explanation of the difference.
    If your husband's intention is to leave his half of the property to his children, then he probably wants to "sever the joint tenancy". If he does that, he can then leave his portion of the property to whoever he likes. But even then, it would be unusual to give his wife a life interest that ceased if she wanted to move house.
    Your husband's will can't affect property solely in your name. If I leave your house in my will, my bequest will fail - because it's not my house to give away!
    I wonder if there's been some confusion about the difference between what happens after a death and what happens in a divorce? If you divorce, the courts will sort things out without necessarily paying too much attention to whose name is on what. But death is different.

  • J63320
    J63320 Forumite Posts: 98
    10 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I find this situation hard to understand, especially as it appears that a solicitor is involved (i.e. someone who should know what’s what).  If two people own a property as joint tenants, as opposed to tenants in common, then if one dies, it automatically passes to the survivor. Even if the OP is mistaken and they are tenants in common, each can only bequeath the proportion that he/she owns. As for a property in the survivor’s sole name, I’m not aware that the concept of a marital asset, which might apply if a couple were divorcing, would apply in the case of a spouse’s death.
  • The_Unready
    The_Unready Forumite Posts: 541
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    You say that you paid 60% and 70% of the deposits on the two properties, and that your husband contributed nothing.

    If that's correct, who paid the remaining 40% and 30% of the deposits?
  • thegreenone
    thegreenone Forumite Posts: 868
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I think you really need to get your own solicitor asap. 

    I cannot understand how, with joint tenancy, he can pass his share to his daughters with those conditions.  Tenants in Common - yes, but not Joint.   Also, with the other house, it's in your name.  Yes, he contributes, but he's not on the deeds.  
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