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How are the wishes in a will upheld?

(17 Posts)
PinkCosmos Fri 31-Mar-23 12:05:25

If I make a will how do I know my wishes will be upheld if I die before my DH

The reason I am asking is, my mother and father made a mirror will. This meant that when one died the other got everything ultimately leaving everything to me. I am an only child.

My father died first and my mother remarried. This meant that the mirror will she made with my father was no longer valid and, if she died before her new husband he would get everything. This cut me out of the will altogether.

At the time I tried to explain this to my mother but she was insistent that the mirror will she had made was valid. I eventually persuaded her to make a new will leaving everything to me, which is what my dad would have wanted. It wasn't a huge amount but it was the principle.

The situation, rather than the money, bothered me as the man she married was clearly after her money and said as much several times. He was younger than her and my mother died before him. It's a long story.

Anyway, I still haven't made a will. I am married with three adult children. The children are from my first marriage but have known my DH for most of their life. We have been married 27 years.

I want to make a will saying that my half of our property should go to my children. Not specifically when I die but rather when my DH dies.

My worry is that my DH is hopeless with money and if I die I am sure he would put the house up for sale and spend the proceeds.

I hope I don't sound mercenary but I have been the saver in our relationship whilst my DH has been the spender. That's another long story.

I doubt my DH would even be bothered to make a will. He has no children of his own so any money on his death would go to his distant relatives, which doesn't seem fair. I have spoken to him about this and he did say he was happy for my children to benefit on his death but this isn't in a will yet.

How can I ensure my will is honoured and my children get what is rightly theirs?

Could my DH make a will to appease me and then change it if I die first?

What happens if he gets married again?

Tenko Fri 31-Mar-23 12:14:17

You need to make a will and I would recommend seeing a solicitor to explain what you want asap , There are ways for half of your estate to go to your children rather than your DH getting it all .
My DM was in the same situation when her father died . He remarried and didn’t change his will , so his new wife got everything, which she left to her niece on her death .

Glorianny Fri 31-Mar-23 12:14:46

You need to see a solicitor. Lots of charities offer to write a will for free. Yours is more complicated. I think you can leave your half of everything to your children but if it is a house you can specify that your DH can live in it until he dies. But as I say see a solicitor to do it properly. Cancer Research UK are offering a free will service.

twinnytwin Fri 31-Mar-23 12:20:50

Please go and speak to a solicitor. Both DH and I are divorced with grown up children and I was determined that my children should have half of the house etc (as was DH), especially should I die first and he remarries. The solicitor was very helpful and has provided us with wills to reflect our wishes. I'm not sure whether a free will from a charity will cover everything you need, but I may be wrong.

Shelflife Fri 31-Mar-23 12:37:32

Hot foot it to an appropriate solicitor asap! Good luck.

Gymstagran Fri 31-Mar-23 12:39:11

I think you must be clear who will be executor of your will, made via a solicitor. If you have concerns about your husband handling the money it may be safer, though more expensive to make the solicitor the executor.

2020convert Fri 31-Mar-23 12:48:02

Definitely use a solicitor. After 45 years of marriage my husband had an affair and I left. We had mirror wills, self written (as my parents had, and their worked perfectly so I thought ours would too).
The first thing I did was go to a solicitor to change my will! She was so helpful in advising recording etc.
In these uncertain times, I also felt it important to make provision for my will to reflect what should happen should my children separate to guard their children’s inheritances.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 31-Mar-23 13:19:37

You must see a solicitor. If you own your house jointly a very simple document can change the method of ownership to tenants in common in equal shares, if that’s not what you are at present. This means each of you owns half the house. You could leave your half to your children (and you can encourage him to do likewise) but, if you wish, specify that your husband can live there until he dies or goes into care. He could make a similar will. He could change his will after you died, or it would be automatically revoked if he remarried, but he would not be able to sell the house acting alone because he would only own half, your children the other half. I would advise making a solicitor or your children executors rather than one another for additional peace of mind that the will will be administered according to your wishes.

Nannarose Fri 31-Mar-23 14:07:21

Definitely a solicitor, for both of you. Explain your wishes, in lay terms, as you have here, and they will explain your options, as GSM has said. It can become more complex, as discussed several times on here, so I think you need a proper amount of time to discuss the ramifications.
I think you are confusing 'wishes' (such as I'd like my friend Jemima to choose a keepsake) and specific bequests (to my friend Jemima, my collection of odd socks).
As I understand it, 'mirror' wills are a lay term, simplifying what a couple wish to do. So glad that your mum finally realised what she needed to do!
As to who ensures it, that is the executors who make declarations to the Probate Office (GSM, please correct if I'm wrong)

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 31-Mar-23 14:13:57

The executors swear an oath to administer the estate properly, yes Nannarose, but I wouldn’t appoint someone who I thought might not comply with their oath!

M0nica Fri 31-Mar-23 14:14:24

I will only support all those who say go to a solicitor. There is no other solution.

Blondiescot Fri 31-Mar-23 14:17:40

Totally agree. There is no other option. Go to a solicitor and get it all done properly, then you will have peace of mind.

Norah Fri 31-Mar-23 14:20:33

I think your solicitor would sort out the issue of your children being impacted by a second husband quite easily with new valid wills.

MrsJamJam Fri 31-Mar-23 16:30:40

That is exactly the situation for me and DH. You need to see a solicitor but we found it fairly simple. Everything in trust for the children (his and mine) which they get after the demise of the second of us. Our children have known this from the day we married so that they wouldn't worry. Also because in the distant past DH lost all his family heirlooms when his stepmother left the lot to her children.

HousePlantQueen Fri 31-Mar-23 16:55:44

In these days of blended families and step children your situation is not unusual and will be easily dealt with by a solicitor, who can also be an executor should you think that appropriate.

Nannarose Sat 01-Apr-23 08:16:05

Just to think about - as well as the scenario GSM has described, you could leave the house completely to your children, specifying that DH could live there until he died HOWEVER you need to make provision within that for him to be able move to a more suitable house, go into care etc.
All of these things are do-able, with the right advice. So time to dig out some of those savings!
I am an advocate of DIY wills when they are very simple (I have done 2 in my life where there were no complications at all) but gone to a solicitor twice when things were more complicated. I would say, please don't use a 'will writing' service - a proper solicitor is needed. Both times we have made solicitor written wills, they have given us a draft and a simple 'lay' copy to go away, think about, and amend.

Katie59 Sat 01-Apr-23 09:12:43

Yes get a solicitor to write a will and be aware that wills can and are changed by unscrupulous people.

If your parent remarries or a long lost cousin appears to (look after) her/him, be very aware your parent is vulnerable to having the will changed. Or get power of attorney to make any sort of financial arrangements they wish.

I have been close to two attempts to do this, one was foiled, one cost the family £500k.