Question : We are married but neither of us has a Will. We both have independent children from previous marriages. Our house is owned outright but is in my husband’s name although I have contributed towards this quite significantly. We are partners in business. Who would the house belong to should my husband die?
Answer : If your husband had a previous Will it will have been revoked on your marriage. Assuming he has not made another Will you would inherit the first £250,000, all his personal effects and half the remainder of his estate in trust. The other half held on trust during your lifetime would pass to his children equally on your death. If the property is under the statutory legacy limit of £250,000 then you would inherit everything – if it is not then some of it may be in trust or pass to his children. Making Wills would allow you both to plan for the future and tailor your wishes to your needs.
Question : What if we died at the same time?
Answer : As the property is in your husband’s name and you didn’t survive him it would pass to his children. Your children would have to establish your equitable interests (your contribution) in the property to receive any interest in it. Again, having Wills in place would avoid all uncertainty and the possibility of future litigation.
Question : If I died before my husband would all my savings etc pass to him?
Answer : This is the same answer as in question 1. Solution : Ideally there is a statement put in place made by both of you, a declaration of trust, to record your respective interests in the property. Or, the title is registered in joint names. Joint mirror Wills would then be put in place to ensure that your family receives your share of the assets, and his family receives his, but that you look after each other to the extent necessary on the first death.
We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Wills & Tax team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Malky or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.