Q&A - Can I protect my house for my children if I die and my partner remarries?

Q: I have two young children and I recently had a health scare which has made me think of the future. My husband and I are still quite young and I want to make sure my children would be protected if I was to pass away and he was to remarry or cohabit. I have heard of children being left with no inheritance when a parent dies and the other remarries and wouldn’t want this to happen to my children. Can I stop this from happening?

A: The short answer is yes, to an extent. You can protect your share of the property for your children in your Will. If you and your partner own your property jointly then when one of you dies it is automatically transferred to the surviving owner.

You can choose to change this. If you carry out a ‘severance of tenancy’ you and your partner will own 50% of the house each. You can then leave your 50% of the house however you choose in your Will.

You can make provision in your Will to ensure that your partner will still be able to live in the house for the rest of their life once you have passed away. This way your children will only benefit from your share of the property once your partner has passed away, but you will have the peace of mind that your share will be protected for your children.

If your partner remarries or cohabits, your half of the house will still belong to your children, with your partner only having the right of residence in your half share. If you would like to discuss protecting your property for your children you should make an appointment with a Solicitor who is experienced in Wills and Probate.

Article May 2019