I am in my sixties and have recently remarried and put my home in joint ownership with my new wife. How do I ensure my children from my first marriage are looked after on my death?
The need to protect your share of the assets which you own jointly with your new wife to secure the inheritance of your children by your first marriage is extremely important. Often the bulk of your Estate is represented by the value of your house. If the property was previously in your sole name prior to your remarriage then there is a danger that, following your remarriage, one way or another your Estate may not necessarily pass to your children by your first marriage.
Having placed the property in joint ownership with your new wife it is imperative to ensure that you own the property as tenants in common and not joint tenants. On the death of a joint tenant the surviving joint tenant automatically inherits the whole of the property by survivorship.
Owning the property with your new wife as tenants in common ensures that your one half share in the property can be left to whoever you specify in your Will. Drawing up a suitable Will leaving your one half share of the property to your children by your first marriage will ensure that their inheritance is protected.
The only issue then is that your new wife may well want to continue living in the property of which she is a one half owner. You should, therefore, include a provision in your Will allowing your wife the right to remain in the matrimonial home until the earlier of her dying, voluntarily vacating, co-habiting with another, or her remarrying. The drawback is your children may not see their inheritance until after one of those events happen.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org