by Denise Crispin-Bailey, Richardson’s Wills
I was browsing through a newspaper last week and stumbled across a problem page. The person who had written in wanted to challenge their stepmother’s Will.
The problem is an all too common one. Her father had gone on to remarry after her mother’s death. He and his new wife then made simple mirror Wills. So, when he passed away a few years later, he left everything, including his late wife’s possessions, to his new wife.
She then decided to change her Will, reducing the percentage of the estate her stepdaughter received in favour of her own children. She even gifted jewellery belonging to her husband’s first wife to her friend!
Naturally, the stepdaughter was upset and hurt that her mother’s jewellery had been gifted to a stranger. She was equally upset that she was now only going to inherit 25% of her parents’ home. It had been her father’s intention for her to inherit the house, and any savings to be split equally between her and his stepchildren.
He had simply trusted his wife would honour his wishes.
It is so easy to protect against this scenario; he could have left his new wife a right to occupy his home. This would have provided the security of somewhere to live until she died, without her owning the property. This would have protected his daughter’s inheritance and saved her a lot of heartache.
For advice on how to protect your home from third party threats such as remarriage, please call Denise on 01904 501910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org