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Protect Your Stepchildren's Inheritance from Mirror Will Problems
A will is regarded as the safe, correct way to ensure that children will receive their due inheritance after the death of their parents.
Sadly, however, for step-children, this is not always the case. This article highlights a serious pitfall already affecting many families, causing emotional and financial distress.
The specific pitfall relates to so-called ‘mirror wills’, where two wills ‘mirror’ each other.
Most commonly made by married parents, the husband might leave his estate to his wife, who would then leave it to their children once she also passes, and vice versa, where the wife may leave it to her husband.
Modern family structures can be much more complicated than this, particularly where step-parents are involved and mirror wills are likely to be unsuitable for many step-families.
Problems caused by mirror wills
The problem is that mirror wills do not actually leave any obligation on the surviving member of the partnership to leave their estate in any particular way.
So, in the example above, the wife, having inherited her husband’s estate, could change her will after his death to disinherit her children. Of course, this seems an unlikely scenario. But it is happening.
In the most common documented cases a surviving step-parent has made changes to their will after their spouse’s death and ended up cutting their step-children out of their inheritance.
In instances such as this, the disinherited children are left in a position where they must seek legal advice to attempt to challenge the will, a process that is far from guaranteed to work, can be very expensive, and is emotionally draining.
Safeguard your children's inheritance now
These sad scenarios are becoming more frequent. Many would be distraught to imagine their family in such a position.
That's why we recommend you take legal advice today on the best will for you and your partner in order to protect your children’s rights long term.
Remember, every family is different and there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ will. Seek specialist legal advice to safeguard your children’s future by making a will which guarantees that your children’s inheritance is protected, no matter what.
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This blog was submitted by MW Solicitors.