Senior Director at Carr & Co Solicitors Valerie Wormald answers your legal questions. Today we have a question from a lady who wants to know if it is worth her making a Will.
I bought a house with my partner Bob a few years ago and we live together with my daughter from my marriage and the twins which Bob and I have had together. I recently had a bit of health scare and thought it might be good idea to make a Will but Bob thinks they are a waste of money and said it was fine if he and my husband, who are good friends now, would sort out what was what. Is he right?
Sarah of Morpeth, Northumberland.
The short answer to this is that you are right, it would be a good idea to make a Will, particularly if you are still married and the children are under 18 years of age. Under the rules of Intestacy, the first £250,000.00 would go to your husband and the life interest of half the balance would be held on trust for the children. Only if you and Bob purchase the house as Joint Tenants would the property pass automatically to him, otherwise Bob would have to deal with the problem of your husband and/ or children also being part owners of the property, and he would have to make a legal claim on your Estate.
A Will would ensure that Bob and the children can be taken care of and you could make those decisions yourself.
You could if you wish put instructions in your Will about how old the children should be before they inherited any money and any particular gifts that you wanted to leave to friends or family such as items of jewellery or items of specific sentimental value.
Making a Will can be quite a scary thing to do and a lot of people are superstitious about doing so. However, the consequence of not doing so particularly in today’s more complex family groupings can be quite devastating for those left behind.