Q&A - Do I need extra provision to protect my children's inheritance when I remarry?

21/05/2012

Q:  After my first wife died I changed my Will, leaving everything to my three sons. Recently I have been blessed with meeting someone else and we are getting married. The lady in question is financially independent and we will live in my house after we are married and rent her house out. When anything happens to one of us we will revert to living how we did before and our respective children will remain sole beneficiaries as per our current Wills. Do we need to make extra provisions?

A:  Once you marry your existing Will is automatically revoked, leaving you intestate. So if you wish your children to inherit everything on your death you will need to make a new Will. It is also worth considering that circumstances can change and you may want to ensure your new wife has some protection.

Including a Life Interest Trust in your Will would enable you to offer your new wife some security by giving her the right to receive the income generated by your cash assets and/or the right to live in your house during her lifetime whilst allowing you to control the ultimate destination of your capital assets. You can state the terms under which she can remain in the house - until she dies, or remarries - at which point the house will pass to your chosen beneficiaries i.e. your three sons.

By setting up a Life Interest Trust you can also effectively ring fence the funds and assets held within it and therefore prevent them from being taken into account for funding if your wife should require full time residential care following your death. Assets held in trust would also be protected in the event of your wife being declared bankrupt.