If you are in, or planning to enter into, a second marriage it is essential that you write a new will as soon as you marry. It is even more important if you have children from your first marriage that you want to leave a legacy to.
But why is it so important? And what will happen if you don’t write a will? In this article we break down the most common questions around second marriages and wills!
But I already have a will?
It might surprise you to find out that remarriage nullifies any existing will that you have put in place. The more complicated family arrangement means that a new will should be high on your list of priorities after you remarry.
If you do not create a new will, the intestacy laws can have serious implications for your blended family, including the shared inheritance of property.
What rights does my new spouse have?
Under the intestacy laws your new spouse could potentially inherit everything you own, depending on the value of your estate.
If your second spouse outlives you, children from your first marriage could ultimately end up inheriting nothing. If your second spouse inherits your entire estate, it will pass to their children upon their death, not yours.
How do I ensure both my children and spouse are looked after?
Many people find the best way is to create a trust for their children, allowing their spouse use of the assets during their own lifetime whilst still ensuring that their children receive the assets after their spouse dies.
What about our shared assets?
If you own you home with your spouse, it may be an idea for it to be owned as tenants in common rather than joint tenants. If you own it as tenants in common you can each leave your share to whoever you wish, most commonly held in trust until both partners have died. If you own the house as joint tenants the property will automatically pass to your partner upon your death, meaning children from a previous relationship may not ultimately inherit anything.