Why is it important for blended families to make a Will?

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A number of families are now part of a blended family unit, which is why it is especially important to put a Will in place to protect your loved ones.

Traditionally, a family consisted of two parents and their children, however, in today’s modern world we are seeing more blended families or stepfamilies. A blended family would typically include a married or cohabiting couple with children from a previous relationship.

What will happen if there is no Will?

Cohabiting couples might assume that on death, all or part of their estate will pass to their partner but sadly this is not the case, even if they have been living together for a number of years. Their estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules.

A common concern for couples in a blended family is ensuring that their spouse/partner and children from a previous marriage/relationship are protected.

If a married person died without leaving a Will, their estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules. This means that the surviving spouse will receive the first £270,000 of their estate plus all personal possessions. The remainder of their estate will be distributed between the surviving spouse and deceased’s biological children.

How to protect your spouse or partner and your children

A Life Interest Trust is useful to couples in a blended family, as it gives the surviving spouse or partner a right to live in the matrimonial home for their lifetime or for a set period and once that right has ceased, the deceased’s share and interest in that property will be transferred to their children.

A Life Interest Trust in a Will provides you with control as to how your estate should be distributed and can be created in respect of your entire estate or a specific asset, such as your property.

For example, if you co-own your property with your spouse/partner, you may wish to leave your share and interest in the property to your children from a previous marriage or relationship and the only way to protect that interest is by making a Will.

You may also wish for your stepchildren to benefit from your estate, but without a Will they will not be entitled to any part of your estate.

If you wish to make a new Will or have your current Will reviewed, please contact us on 01279 295047 and we will be very happy to help you.

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