Sideways dis-inheritance is the phrase used to describe when children, often unintentionally, end up losing out on their share of their parents estate due to remarriage.
If you pass away, and either have no will or a standard mirror will, your property generally passes straight to your spouse, so they now own all the assets.
Should the surviving spouse then remarry, any previous will would be invalid.
After the new marriage if your surviving spouse should pass away before their new spouse then any joint property transfers to their new partner.
This could mean that the assets that you wanted to go to your children after your partner’s passing could go to a complete stranger. If the new spouse/partner then decides to leave all the assets to his/her children then your children could end up with absolutely nothing.
Even families who have always got along can have problems later on, as shown in this article in the Independent.
Ensure this does not happen
The only way too ensure your children get at least a part share of your assets is to make your wishes as clear as possible before you pass in a professionally drafted will and then insert a either a Flexible Lifetime Interest Trust (FLIT) or a Property Protection Trust (PPT) that works within your Will, to ensure that sideways dis-inheritance does not happen.
With a PPT your share in your home would drop into a trust upon your death, with your children as the beneficiaries, providing legal protection for your home and assets, ensuring you leave more of your estate to who you intended when you die.
Arranging a PPT means the surviving spouse can live in the property as long as they wish. But when they die, the original share of the property held in trust will pass to the beneficiaries you have named and negate and sideways dis-inheritance.
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