Remarrying is often a very special time in a person’s life. Giving you the chance to start over with a new partner, and live life to the fullest, remarrying can help to kick start the next chapter in your personal story.
However, if you have children from a previous marriage, remarrying comes with a wide range of considerations. One of the most important things to think about is inheritance. Although you may well be healthy now, if the worst does happen, your children may not get the money or property you expect them to have after you die.
If your partner remarries after you’re gone, your money and property may pass to someone you’ve never even met. Known as ‘sideways disinheritance’, this common set of circumstances can lead to your kids being left with nothing.
The rules of remarrying
If you die without leaving a will, the bulk of your estate automatically passes to your spouse. In fact, the first £250,000 of your estate will be passed to your husband or wife. If there’s anything left over after that, it will be divided 50/50 between your partner and your children.
Although many people would want their partner to receive a large share of their estate, and to be able to go on living in the family home, these inheritance rules may come as a shock to many. If you want your children to inherit a larger portion of your estate, or even your entire estate, after you die, you’ll need to write a will after you remarry.
Another thing you need to consider if you choose not to leave a will is sideways disinheritance. This happens when a person dies without leaving a will and the bulk of their estate passes to their spouse.
If your spouse goes on to marry again, the money and assets they inherited from you will become common property of the new marriage. If your spouse pre-deceases their new partner, your estate will automatically go to their surviving husband or wife.
In some cases, a spouse can also choose to change their will after their partner dies in order to disinherit their children. Even if you agreed that your estate should pass to your kids after your spouse has died, they have the power to create a new will and decide anew where your money and property will go.
If this happens, your hard-earned money and property could end up going to someone you’ve never even met instead of being inherited by your children or other loved ones.
Avoiding sideways disinheritance
The best way to avoid your children becoming disinherited by a stranger is to make a will. If you write a clear, legal will, you’ll be able to decide exactly what happens to your money and property after you die. This gives you the opportunity to ensure your kids are well provided for and that they get the inheritance that’s rightfully theirs.
Find out more about the importance of creating a legal and valid will by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of o