It is not uncommon for an individual to have children from a previous relationship and even go on to have more children in their new relationship. Similarly, it is not uncommon for relationships and marriages to fail and those individuals go on to find love again later in life.
Where there are children from different relationships involved, we often refer to this as a blended family. But how does this affect your estate planning?
Peter and Denise
Peter and his wife were childhood sweethearts; they went on to have two children in their early 20s. By the time they were in their 30s, they had grown apart and divorced. Peter then went on to marry his second wife Denise. Peter and Denise then also had a child, Laura, together.
Some years later Peter died, and his estate passed in its entirety to Denise. Denise never got around to making a Will and when she died her estate was left to her only biological daughter, Laura.
The Rules of Intestacy do not consider stepchildren to be a legal heirs and therefore Peter’s eldest two children did not receive anything from the estate and were disinherited.
Had Peter and Denise made their Wills to fit their circumstances this could have been avoided.
Trevor and Penny
Trevor had two children with his first wife, but the marriage broke down and they subsequently divorced. Trevor then met Penny later in life and remarried. Penny also has two children from her first marriage.
Trevor sadly died without leaving a Will, and due to the value of his estate, Penny was the sole beneficiary. Penny and Trevor had always talked about how all four of their children are to be treated equally. Penny never thought she needed a Will and subsequently also died intestate.
Like the scenario above, and in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, Trevor’s children will not receive anything from Penny’s estate as they are not her biological children.
Don't let the only legacy you leave be one of disappointment for your children.
Contact us today for a no-obligation chat.