Q&A - What is the best way to get financial protection in a second marriage?

09/02/2015

Q: My boyfriend proposed at Christmas. I have accepted, moved in with him and put my house on the market. I have been married before and received a substantial divorce settlement. I have two teenage children from my first marriage who live with me. My fiancé has his own business and a grown-up daughter with a child of her own.

Although I love my fiancé dearly, in the cold light of day I have started worrying about what could happen in respect of our finances if he died or it all goes wrong. He says once we are married I would automatically inherit everything if he died and vice versa, and if I died first he would take care of my children. I fear that legally there is more to it than that though. What should I do?

A: There can be serious financial complications with second marriages, not least because when people enter into a second marriage they have often acquired greater assets than they had the first time round. If there is a business involved, or there are children from a previous relationship, the circumstances become even more complex.

Even if you already have a Will that takes care of your children, it will become null and void when you get married and your new husband will automatically acquire rights to a proportion of your estate, which may not be what you want.

Before you get married it would be wise to get some sound legal advice. It may be advisable to get a pre-nuptial agreement drafted that lays out clearly what each of you has brought to the relationship financially. Once you are married you will need to make another Will in order to ensure your exact wishes are fully reflected.

Nathan Wright

Nathan Wright

Partner

A Partner specialising in Family and Matrimonial Law

Alison Peters

Alison Peters

Partner

A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry