Making a will

My husband has died and I’m re-writing my will. I have two children, both married and one with a child. I’m planning to leave equal shares to my children and in their absence, my one grandchild. Does this seem fair and reasonable? Husbands aren’t included. My solicitor has been very unhelpful so any help is much appreciated.
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  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,825
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    Yes, it seems eminently reasonable, but I'd be factoring in any future grandchildren, which is straightforward. 

    Also be clear about your intention: I understand that the first clause is that each child gets half your estate. If one dies before you, where does their half go? If it's the one with a child who survives, makes sense for it all to go that way. But if it's the one with a child who dies, do you want the grandchild to get half, and your surviving adult child the other half? 

    Also note that in the event of divorce, you can't protect what you've left to your children from being included in the marital pot. (May be different in Scotland.)

    Frankly, if your solicitor is unhelpful I'd find another. Explaining how these things work in terms you can understand  should be a basic service! 
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  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,806
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    edited 16 January at 10:54PM
    50% each to your children and 10% of that 50% should go to their children, divided equally?
    A solicitor will word it correctly.
  • Cressida100
    Cressida100 Posts: 179
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    As above please factor in any future grandchildren and get rid of your solicitor, why pay someone who is not doing a decent job. I recently did my Will and the solicitor could not have been more helpful. 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,223
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    You say your husband’s are not included, did your husband leave anything to his children? If you inherited his entire estate but are excluding his children from your will that could be consider unfair especially if he believed your will would include them so failed to protect their inheritance with his will. 
  • NlghtOwl
    NlghtOwl Posts: 86
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    You say your husband’s are not included, did your husband leave anything to his children? If you inherited his entire estate but are excluding his children from your will that could be consider unfair especially if he believed your will would include them so failed to protect their inheritance with his will. 
    I don’t believe it’s a blended family, she means the husbands of her children are not being left anything in the event of her children dying. 
    In the unlikely event of both your children predeceasing you, you might be relying on those husbands to arrange your care. You can always update your will in the future if these unlikely scenarios play out. Good 
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,969
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    If your solicitor isn't explaining the options, asking what if questions or answering your other questions I'd definitely find another one.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,020
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    edited 17 January at 12:11PM
    L123 said:
    My husband has died and I’m re-writing my will. I have two children, both married and one with a child. I’m planning to leave equal shares to my children and in their absence, my one grandchild. Does this seem fair and reasonable? Husbands aren’t included. My solicitor has been very unhelpful so any help is much appreciated.


    There's an awful lot of criticism of solicitors based purely on OP's view that her solicitor is 'being unhelpful'. From the way the post is phrased, it sounds as if she has been asking for advice on whether her plans are 'fair and reasonable' - and that's really not something on which solicitors are best placed to comment. Their role is to explain options and ensure these are correctly expressed in the will, and possibly act as a sounding board, but not take over the role of 'best friend'/tell their client what they plan sounds 'a good idea' (or whatever). If the solicitor is gently explaining to her that they can't take her decisions, that's not being unhelpful.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,969
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    Marcon said:
    L123 said:
    My husband has died and I’m re-writing my will. I have two children, both married and one with a child. I’m planning to leave equal shares to my children and in their absence, my one grandchild. Does this seem fair and reasonable? Husbands aren’t included. My solicitor has been very unhelpful so any help is much appreciated.


    There's an awful lot of criticism of solicitors based purely on OP's view that her solicitor is 'being unhelpful'. From the way the post is phrased, it sounds as if she has been asking for advice on whether her plans are 'fair and reasonable' - and that's really not something on which solicitors are best placed to comment. Their role is to explain options and ensure these are correctly expressed in the will, and possibly act as a sounding board, but not take over the role of 'best friend'/tell their client what they plan sounds 'a good idea' (or whatever).
    It's also not the role of strangers on the internet...

    There are many options available to the OP - money only to the kids, money only to the grandkids (on the basis the kids don't need it) a mixture of the two? Should money go to charity? Are there any step-children or people on the late husband's side.

    Ultimately the OP has to decide how they feel comfortable leaving their money, and a good solicitor will ask the questions that should prompt the OP to think of these issues before the will is drafted and signed.
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 11,973
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    When my MIL came to rewrite her will she had the grandchildren "problem,"   She elected to ignore the grandchildren and leave it to the parents to pass on a portion of their inheritance if they wanted to.

    I would include your husbands children as equals
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  • pjs493
    pjs493 Posts: 157
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    So I'm in a very similar situation to you. My husband died suddenly last year and we have two children. Both are still minors in my case. I've engaged a solicitor to write a new Will. My previous Will left everything to my husband apart from a couple of sentimental items, and if that gift failed, to our children in equal shares, and if that gift failed, to my nieces and nephews. We had mirror Wills so my husband's Will said the same. We wrote our Wills before we has children and did not name our niece and nephews at the time because we weren't sure if our siblings intended to have any more children.

    My new Will will simplify things somewhat as my husband and I had children since our Wills were made. I now know that I unfortunately will not have any more children (my husband and I were planning on having a third). My new Will will name our children and have a clause that if either predeceases me, their share will be divided among their children if they have any, otherwise the whole estate will go to the surviving child. In other words, any future grandchildren would only get an equal share of what goes to their parent if that parent dies before me.

    I also want to put in some clauses about jewellery, my husband gave me a very expensive engagement ring and eternity ring (I also have some other jewellery too). He used to joke that he wouldn't let me be buried with either due to their value, just my wedding ring. I want to respect his wishes on this. I plan to leave the engagement ring to my eldest and the eternity ring and other jewellery to my youngest (which should leave them with about an equal value in jewellery). My wish is that the jewellery remains in the family, so for example if my eldest son marries and then divorces and uses my engagement ring to propose to his intended, that upon the divorce the ring returns to my son. Although I'm not sure if this would be acceptable from a legal perspective, I'll take advice from the solicitor when I meet with them later this week.

    I will also make several stipulations on how the money and property in my estate should be used if I die while my children are still minors, eg it should be used for school fees, etc and will appoint trustees that I can feel confident will carry out these wishes. I don't envisage being in a situation where I will have a mortgage or debts, so hopefully any property left at the time of my death could be used as a rental income to go towards school fees etc. The trustees will have control of the estate until the children turn a certain age. Currently this is 21 in my Will, but I will take advice about making this 25. My husband and I slightly regretted the clause in our wills. Although never imagined either of us would die when our children were still young. We knew someone at university who came into a lot of money when he turned 21 and spent it all on holidays and boozing with his buddies. He obviously later regretted it when he graduated and could have used the money towards a house deposit, etc.
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