It’s not unusual to see headlines stating that almost three quarters of the population die without making a Will. However, sometimes it’s not enough just to make a Will. You should ensure the Will correctly distributes your estate and meets your wishes. You should also make sure that it reflects your current circumstances and is updated regularly.
Following the recent death of actress Lynda Bellingham it has been reported that she made a Will in favour of her husband. However, she left behind children from her first marriage and they claim it was her intention that her second husband leave them a share of the inheritance. It now looks like he has chosen not to do this. As a result they will end up without anything from her estate.
It is often the case, with second families, that someone might want children from a first marriage to inherit something. At the same time they want to ensure their second husband or wife is left in a comfortable position.
How can you ensure your Will provides for everyone?
It is possible to put a form of Trust in your Will so that assets of the estate can pass into a Trust. This ensures that your wife/husband continues to have an entitlement to the estate. Whilst also ensuring that the capital of the trust fund can pass on to children of the first marriage. If funds are left to the spouse outright then it makes it difficult to ensure that they will pass part of the inheritance to the children. Indeed, they may not be able to if they have lost mental capacity at the time of the death. In this case planning early is important.
You can read more about including a Trust in your Will in our previous blog: “Is a simple Will enough to provide for my family?”