With professional advice, ‘modern families’ are able to protect themselves financially and avoid conflict, writes Maria Lonergan of KBL

Occurrences of first, second, third or more marriages taking place where one or both parties have children from former relationships are increasingly prevalent (in this note referred to as ‘modern families’).

Unless prior steps are taken, once the new marriage is formalised, any existing Will will be revoked or the intestacy rules which would have applied, change in application to a position perhaps not anticipated.

Taking the right advice at the right time can ensure a seamless transition of your testamentary wishes through the marriage contract and beyond, and can also ensure that you are able to benefit a number of different parties, perhaps at differing times, for example the surviving spouse to take the benefit of the deceased’s estate in the first instance, but then on their death, the children.

The right planning will ensure that equality is achieved between your children and your new spouse and will incorporate certainty and protection over your wishes such that the surviving spouse would not be able to disinherit the children either intentionally (by re-drafting their Will) or unintentionally (by their re-marriage or entry into the care system, for example). Further, protection can also be incorporated against negative circumstances, which may come to touch upon children’s lives, which risk their inheritances being taken by unintended third parties, such as divorce or bankruptcy.

With the right advice, parties to modern families are able to secure the taxation advantages offered by marriage, alongside financial protection and security for both spouse and children, which in turn avoids conflict arising on the first and/or second death a worst case scenario of which would bring about a probate action or inheritance act claim either of which are likely to be both personally and financially devastating for all those involved.

For further information contact Maria Lonergan in our Wills, Trusts, Tax & Probate department

12 Cunningham Court
Blackburn BB1 2QX
01254 268790

28 Mawdsley Street
Bolton BL1 1LF
01204 527777



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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