Gransnet forums



(73 Posts)
newnanny Thu 29-Jun-17 13:57:58

AIBU to want to make direct provision for my 3 children in my will. My 3 children are form first marriage and all adult now although 2 still live at home in loft conversion.

My 2nd husband of 13 years and I have our home (6 bed) with small mortgage but if one dies paid off by life insurance + 3 BTL properties 2 are also covered by life insurance, and 2 French houses with no mortgage (property is much cheaper in France) that I paid about 70% of and in addition I also have 2 more BTL properties in my name that I bought with inheritance from my own DM. My husbands parents are still both alive and well but one day he will inherit jointly with brother from them.

I have been thinking about making a will. I know I should have done this before but never got around to it. My husband says he does not need to make one because I will inherit his share of everything if anything happens to him and I can give kids some if I wish. He will leave it up to me. I suggested to DH that I thought I should leave my 3 DC my 2 BTL properties to be split between them and £10000 each from my estate. He was horrified and said it is like I don't trust him to provide for my DC after I am gone. He seemed quite shocked and upset.

He has said If I die before him he is leaving everything he has to my 3 DC and 1 DGC. He does not have any biological DC of his own but has helped me raise my youngest from 7 years.

I don't want to upset my DH as very happy together but I do think as a Mum I should make some provision for my DC and DGC if I were to die first.

My DH and I help out my DC whenever we can and he is always very generous with them and DGC and he treats them as his own.

I think DC would expect some inheritance if I die first but none of them have mentioned anything.

I just don't want to upset any of them but think there is plenty to share between them. AIBU to want to make specific provision for them or should I leave all to DH and let him share out with children if I die first?

Also under French Law I think DC automatically will get a share in house but I obviously want DH to have full use of it for his lifetime just in case they wished to sell.

I am really quite worried about it all. Can anyone offer advice please?

Teetime Thu 29-Jun-17 14:07:06

See a solicitor

grannysue05 Thu 29-Jun-17 14:08:08

There are someGN's who are legally qualified and who no doubt reply to this post.
I believe that you should both make a will and specify what you would want to happen to your assets.
Your properties are here and in France, so that alone makes your affairs complex.
NEVER rely on (even dearly loved) people 'sorting it out after you have gone".
Seek professional advice now from a suitably experienced solicitor.

tanith Thu 29-Jun-17 14:08:25

Its a minefield and no mistake I am in exactly the same position although we only have the house we live in to leave.
You or your DH cannot see into the future and who knows should you die first he may marry again and then where would your children stand? OH and I have had a conversation about this but like your DH he thinks we should trust each other to do the right thing so I am in a pickle especially at the moment as he has serious health problems and like you I don't want to upset him. My children/grandchildren aren't expecting an inheritance. I need to bite the bullet and raise the subject and sort it out once and for all. Good luck.

M0nica Thu 29-Jun-17 14:25:19

I think your DH is wrong in thinking that everything will immediately go to you.

According to the UK Government site the rules if you are married and die intestate are as follows:

If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:

all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died.
the first £250,000 of the estate
half of the remaining estate.

All the children of the parent who has died intestate inherit equally from the estate. This also applies where a parent has children from different relationships.

The link to this site is:

I would get your DH to read this, contemplate and digest, then see a solicitor

grannysue05 Thu 29-Jun-17 14:26:06

I think Tanith has highlighted the problem here of not making wills when both of you are in good health, and therefore not emotional.
When one partner becomes ill or has serious health issues, it is so much more difficult to face the arrangements needed.
Act now...sort your wills out!

Ilovecheese Thu 29-Jun-17 14:27:46

If I didn't trust my husband to do the right thing for both his and my children, I wouldn't have married him.
I also think you need a solicitor.

BBbevan Thu 29-Jun-17 14:27:54

You really need a solicitor to draw you up a will that satisfies all you want. It is not expensive. DH and I wanted slightly more complicated wills, than the usual, all to the surviving spouse and then all to the children.They cost us £150 each.
Well worth the money so your wishes are carried out properly after your death.

annodomini Thu 29-Jun-17 14:30:58

Neither of you should die intestate. A will lodged with your solicitor (and executors) will prevent any disputes that might arise no matter how amicable your DH believes things will be. You should see a solicitor together and get advice to work things out and make DH see sense.

Norah Thu 29-Jun-17 14:35:32

I would hire a solicitor. Either of you would want the other to have lifetime use, benefit, enjoyment, and ability of spending to all properties and funds, it seems to me. Then an equal division to AC of what may remain seems reasonable.

Welshwife Thu 29-Jun-17 14:38:20

Are the French houses in joint names as that would make a difference. You cannot disinherit a child in France and a share would go to them on your death (or that is how it was) but I think your DH would still have use of the houses. It would not be very expensive to see a Notaire.

newnanny Thu 29-Jun-17 14:41:39

The French houses are in joint names but the notaire at the time took all of the details of my DC Full Names, DoB and addresses.

MissAdventure Thu 29-Jun-17 14:43:37

I would most certainly be making a will, if I were you, since there are quite a lot of properties and factors to consider.

Nannarose Thu 29-Jun-17 14:49:34

It seems the issue is not what you SHOULD do, but how your DH sees it, so you need to get him to understand the ramifications without just telling him baldly what you intend!

So I would begin by saying to him that you think that intestate law is not straightforward, especially in France. Say that you both need to research it and understand how things might work.
That gives him much more involvement.

Then say that you both need to discuss wht will happen on either (or both) death(s)

At some point as you discuss what you would like to happen, you could drop in ' but if we rely on each other to do another will after the first death, what happens if the survivor is too ill (aka dementia) to do so?'

So I hope you will arrive at something sensible without him feeling unappreciated or railroaded. Good luck!

newnanny Thu 29-Jun-17 14:58:23

Good idea Nannarose. I think he is feeling like I don't trust him but it is not that at all. I don't want my DC to feel beholden to him in the event I die first. I also want them to think I loved them enough to make sure they would have a share after I have gone. It is difficult for him because he does not have any biological children however he is close to my 3 DC and 1 DGC. I think I would feel the same even if they were his own biological children.

MiniMouse Thu 29-Jun-17 15:01:29

Does your DH need to know if you decide to make a Will? Also, does he need to know the contents of your Will? If it's all drawn up legally, there shouldn't be any problems after your 'departure'. That sounds a bit sneaky, but if it saves any bad feeling between you and your DH it may be worth considering!

M0nica Thu 29-Jun-17 15:02:05

I didn't see the mention of the French house. The inheritance law has changed in France recently. We saw our local Notaire who drew up an official French will that means when the first of us dies the survivor inherits the deceased's half of the house.

I think this is specific to people like us who live and are domiciled in the UK but have a holiday home in France.

As all of us are telling you, newnanny, the whole question is much more complicated than your DH thinks and if he cares about how his estate is distributed after his death then he needs to make a will. Inheritance of assets in France will be distributed under French law, even though you live in the UK.
so, as we all keep saying:

Go and see a solicitor and make a will.

newnanny Thu 29-Jun-17 15:06:49

MiniMouse I could not go behind his back be cause he would feel betrayed if I died first. The problem is he can be quite stubborn. I have already suggested seeing a solicitor but he is stubbornly refusing and I have tried twice but he gets upset.

devongirl Thu 29-Jun-17 15:08:32

MiniMouse it is your will surely, not a joint one - go by yourself, and tell your DH you're going, he can come or not as he chooses?

newnanny Thu 29-Jun-17 15:10:09

The French houses are not really an issue because DH loves them and will use them but DC are not so keen on them and would be happy with occasional holiday. I am sure if they had a choice they would just wait until after DH died and then just sell them.

TriciaF Thu 29-Jun-17 15:17:01

It's a minefield,as someone else said.
We're in a similar position with one house in England, and one in France, where we live. We have 4 children - one his 3 mine. We have a clause in our french contract to say that the house transfers to the survivor when one of us dies.
BUT when the survivor dies the house goes to only their children.
There is a way round it (partially) due to a recent EU law
It involves making a will that would be acceptable in the UK, but not previously in France, having it translated into french and lodge it with a french notaire. Not sure of the details but you should be able to find more on the internet.
I had a similar conversation as you did with husband and he was very hurt, said I didn't trust him. As I'm older than him, and likely to go first, he says he would sell up here and go back to the UK, as he could never cope with the bureaucracy, not speaking french. That would get round the problem, and he could leave a quarter to each.
Don't ask me what I've done - nowt yet but I've got a basic form.
We are halfheartedly trying to sell the french house now, but it's going to take ages.

M0nica Thu 29-Jun-17 15:28:54

I think both of you are being purblind. Your estate is complicated with property in two countries. Your DH's belief that he can just leave it and you will inherit everything is completely wrong.

French inheritance law, in particular, is complicated but can be simplified if you make a French will. The fact that your DH loves his French property and uses them is irrelevant. He isn't immortal. What happens if he goes first and you own only half the French property and the other half is divided between your children?

If your DH wants to be stubborn at least let him know what he is being stubborn about. Get the government site, link above, on the computer, sit him down in front of it and leave him to read it. Or print it out and leave it on the side in the kitchen where he will see it. There is also an Age UK Fact sheet, do the same with that

As for France, print this out or get it online for him

If a month after reading all this he still will not change his mind, be as stubborn as him, go and make your will and put lots of money aside for dealing with the inevitable intestacy. We have had one in our family, it cost a fortune in legal fees because we had to deal with sorting out Deeds of Arrangement to distribute the estate the way we knew the intestate person would have wanted and was labourious, time consuming and a real hassle when the family were distraught following a sudden death.

I think the reason he will not make a will is because he is frightened of facing the thought of his own death or believes the myth that making a will means you will probably die soon after.

devongirl Thu 29-Jun-17 15:39:39

Sorry wrong reply earlier:

newnanny it is your will surely, not a joint one - go by yourself, and tell your DH you're going, he can come or not as he chooses?

TriciaF Thu 29-Jun-17 17:16:08

" be as stubborn as him, go and make your will and put lots of money aside for dealing with the inevitable intestacy."
You're right, MOnica, that's what I plan to do. I'll send one copy to our solicitor in the UK, and one to eldest daughter.
Only I haven't got lots of money to put aside, all our money is in our 2 houses.
"What happens if he goes first and you own only half the French property and the other half is divided between your children?"
I realise that's another possibility.

starbird Thu 29-Jun-17 17:46:46

Obviously you both need to have wills and advice from a solicitor considering the amount of property in involved.

If you are not reliant on the income from all your BTL and if you are both in agreement, you may wish to consider selling some if them and giving your children a significant amount of money now. It might be more useful to them than 20 years down the line, and also may save some inheritance tax.

But it is not worth upsetting your husband if he is dead against the idea. You could perhaps plant the suggestion and let him think about it. Quite possibly a financial advisor would suggest something similar.