Who May Benefit From A Will? - Example

By Stan Taylor Written on:

Want to make a start on your will?

Making a will is simple

Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.

Steve has two children, Jane and Katherine, from his first marriage. Some years after his first wife's death he meets and marries Susan.

She has two sons, Brian and James, from her previous marriage. Steve and Susan agree that they trust each other.

In particular they know that when one of them dies the survivor will see that all the children are taken care of. They decide to make wills leaving everything to each other and then dividing the estate between all four children on the second death.

Steve dies some years later and Susan gets everything he owned.

Five years later she decides she should make a new will because she has some grandchildren from Brian. She decides that she would like to leave everything to her own children and grandchildren considering 'the time that has elapsed since Steve died'. In other words, to use a common phrase, 'that was then, this is now'.

Steve's children are excluded and will probably not find out until years later when Susan dies. They will have an uphill struggle to try and get anything from Susan's estate.

An alternative scenario would be that Susan remarries some years after Steve's death. Her will would be revoked as a matter of law.

She might then make a new will in favour of her new husband or omit to make a will altogether. If she died intestate, Steve's children would have no claim on her estate under the intestacy rules. Depending on the amount she left, either her new husband would get everything or he would share it with her own children.

The most basic way of protecting the interests of everyone concerned where there is a second marriage is a life interest will.

This means that the assets of the first to die are placed into a trust and the surviving spouse receives the income but does not own the underlying capital. It is possible to specify that the trustees may resort to capital if the income proves to be insufficient.

On the death of the survivor, the assets then belong to the beneficiaries specified in the first will and not the survivor's.

More on topic - Who May Benefit From A Will? - Example2 or Who May Benefit From A Will? - Bankrupts

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see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English laFree Will download


Perhaps you might consider taking legal advice from a solicitor about making a will if any of the following apply to your circumstances:


  1. A number of people could make a claim on your estate when you pass away because they depend on yourself financially
  2. You want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for children, to save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you become deceased)
  3. Your physical and permanent home is not in the UK and / or you are not a British citizen
  4. You live here in the UK but you have additional property abroad
  5. You own all or part of a UK business.

see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English law.

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