When preparing a will for a client I had to ask the question ‘what if your wife remarried?’
He started yelling “I will kill the bastard, who is he! He doesn’t even exist yet, but I hate him” – jokingly of course. Then I said ‘what if your wife died first and you entered a new relationship” – oh that is different he said
But it is a serious question. Spouses often remarry or enter into new relationships and this will affect the family assets that you leave behind – their owns assets plus assets they inherited from you.
Homer and Marge are happily married and have a few assets in each name. Homer dies and leaves everything to Marge. Nothing to the children and nothing on trust.
A short time after the funeral Marge enters into a dalliance with neighbour and widower Ned – who is renting and has no assets. Pretty soon Ned is staying over 4 nights per week and then moves in.
Marge then dies of a heart attack during a vigorous love making session.
Her will leaves everything to her kids. But Ned has grown accustomed to living in style on the money Homer left Marge. Ned also likes the bed Homer purchased and wears Homer’s dressing gown in the morning. He also feeds Homer’s dog!
Ned makes a family provision claim. He is an eligible person as he is now a ‘spouse’ of Marge – or was on her death. His new girlfriend has moved into the house too.
Ned gets awarded 30% of Marge’s estate and they live happily ever after.
If Homer had considered this in his will he could have taken evasive action to prevent or reduce the financial effect of a new spouse on the family.
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