Q: My first wife and I left everything to each other in our Wills, but after she died I made a new Will leaving everything to our three sons. Now I am planning to marry again. My new partner also has grown-up children who are the sole beneficiaries of her Will. We plan to live in my house after we are married and rent her house out, so if anything happens to one of us the other can revert to living how we did before. Do we need to update our Wills to ensure that our respective children will remain sole beneficiaries of our respective Wills as they are now?
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.