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



  • Daniel54
    Daniel54 Forumite Posts: 815
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    This all very odd. Your husband cannot bequeath assets that he does not own

    in any case ,his primary concern in the event of his death should be your residential and financial security ( although it sounds as if financially there is not too much out there)

    Even if your husband does own 50% of your home ,the survivor clause should allow you to sell and move without requiring half the realised value to pass immediately to the beneficiaries.

    You cannot have two homes (primary residence ).If you and your husband do not live together in property 2,then it is not your joint primary residence.It belongs to you and you alone

    The views of the solicitor seem unprofessional and/or incompetent.,to say the least.I would echo the suggestion that you take your own legal advice to hopefully put your mind at rest.

  • Spendless
    Spendless Forumite Posts: 23,729
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    Why have you put his solicitor? Why didn't you both see the same solicitor to say what you  both wished to do? What does your own solicitor say about it all? 
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Forumite Posts: 45,603
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    Is it a solicitor who has said this, or a will writer?

    If the latter, sack them and start again. 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • msb1234
    msb1234 Forumite Posts: 458
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    If you own your house as joint tenants then the survivor gets the whole house. If it’s owned as tenants in common, then the survivor only gets their share. Regarding the house you solely own, he cannot leave any part of it to anyone. 
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Forumite Posts: 1,169
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    Something doesn't add up here, you can't have one person determining how the assets of another will be distributed with no say so from them. Why are the wills being done separately, normally a couple that aren't getting divorced would get them done together with the intention of protecting each and ultimately distributing their assets in a way they had mutually agreed. It sounds like there is either a big misunderstanding over the details or he is implementing something against your interests and possibly against your will. Either way you need to speak to a solicitor who is acting in your interests.
  • stuhse
    stuhse Forumite Posts: 202
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    edited 10 May at 7:57AM
    It sounds like you have both trotted off and written your wills without consulting each other. My wife and I recently wrote our wills and talked long and hard about what we wanted to happen after our days.  We have built up a lot of wealth in the form of properties together, though I brought a larger share to the party, she has earned more in the time of our relationship.  We have 2 children together and my wife has one child from a previous marriage.  It wasn't easy agreeing a split, this is often going to be the case with blended families. There are so many scenarios to consider. I might die tomorrow and my wife might meet another partner and live another 30 years.....or vice versa.  Hopefully we will grow old together and die at a similar time..but what if all our wealth is used up in care costs.  I can understand your husband wanting to ensure some of his wealth passes to his children...my wife wanted to ensure her first child was protected. In leaving it all to you , you may meet another man, remarry , die before that man  and then his kids would see nothing.  I understand your feeling of being trapped by how he has left things. We have managed to write wills which reflect each others wishes pass wealth to our offspring whilst not trapping each other.  Perhaps you could talk to your partner about how you feel and ask him if he has considered all scenarios.  Perhaps you can suggest ways he ensures some of his wealth ultimately benefits his off spring, whilst ensuring you will be ok.  Sounds like your 2nd house is yours.......but you need to clarify this as others have mentioned.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Forumite Posts: 15,408
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    Your financial arrangements are a total mess and need sorting. He certainly has a financial interest in the second house as he is contributing to the mortgage, but his financial interest is nowhere near 50%  (although it might be treated that way in the course of a divorce). 

    If his will actually names this specific house then this is not the way to sort this out you need to formalise the ownership issue now along with both of you sitting down with the same solicitor to make sure you have compatible wills.

    Have you left your estate to his children in the event of him dying first?
  • SevenOfNine
    SevenOfNine Forumite Posts: 2,336
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    It sounds like he's severed the Joint Tenants ownership of the house you live in. The link Annelise supplied will explain how he can do that without telling you.

    I'd be buying a copy of the title information paperwork from Land Registry to see if a clause has been added. Ours is under Property Register: Title Absolute.  A 3 line paragraph headed "RESTRICTION".

    Originally as Joint Tenants it just had a single para listing us both as 'proprietors'. When we applied to sever that (not quietly done without discussion/agreement), the register noted the 'restriction' underneath the original 'proprietors entry' & sent a fresh set of the 4 pages of paperwork.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
  • Malthusian
    Malthusian Forumite Posts: 10,754
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    J63320 said:
    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.
    If you left your whole estate to your children and left your spouse penniless, then the spouse would have a good claim for a share under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act.
    Alternatively if you left your whole estate to your children but your spouse still had assets of equal value in his own name (i.e. the marital assets were owned 50/50 and on death were split 50/50) and still had enough to meet his needs, the courts could well tell him that was enough to go on with if he challenged the Will.
    The concept of "marital assets" doesn't exactly apply and the starting point is that the executors must follow the Will; but if you don't make "reasonable provision" for your spouse, the courts might adjust the Will, just as they will try to adjust an unfair distribution of assets on divorce.
    The other difference between death and divorce is that you have to go to court to get a divorce, so an "unreasonable" split will be challenged automatically. On death a disinherited spouse has to proactively bring a challenge.
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