Children from previous relationships

These days, many couples enter second or maybe third marriages or relationships bringing with them children from those previous relationships.

Few people know that any previous Wills could be immediately revoked on remarriage. Worse, in ignorance of specialist advice, new couples could write Wills leaving everything to their new spouse or partner, and then if that person dies before them, to their children.

But a simple Will won’t guarantee that the children from previous relationships will end up inheriting what their parent would have expected them to.

Here’s why.

 Let’s imagine a couple called Mr and Mrs Smith who have been married for a few years and have children from that relationship. However, this is Mrs Smith’s second marriage and she has a son from that previous marriage.

Should Mrs Smith die, a simple Will would almost certainly leave what she owns to her second husband, Mr Smith.

Now, if Mr Smith then dies, it’s also likely that his simple Will leaves his estate to “my children”. What does his stepson inherit? NOTHING.

Life is also complex and relationships between stepparents and stepchildren can cool or change if the natural parent passes away. What if Mr Smith had a Will leaving his estate to “my children and my stepson” but as time goes on he decides to cut his stepson out and write a new Will leaving all to his children only?

The stepchild again loses the inheritance his mum would have wanted and expected him to receive.

Phoenix Wills and Probate will sensitively discuss with you the issues and give you advice on what you can do to ensure your children will inherit, as you would like them to. Contact us to discuss any concerns you have.