I recently spoke at an educational seminar run by the Institute of Public Accountants. An interesting discussion evolved about estate planning for blended families and what controls can be implemented to ensure that a Willmaker’s wishes are carried out.
Blended families arise where a couple enters into a relationship and one, or both of them, have children from pre-existing relationships. Willmakers in this instance often want to leave all of their assets to each other in the event that one passes away, but they also wish to ensure that their respective children benefit from their estate after the surviving spouse passes away.
Without specific strategies in place, there is the risk that the surviving spouse could change their Will and leave everything in their estate to their own children. One way to manage this risk is to have mutual Wills.
Some key matters to be taken into account when considering mutual Wills include:
It is imperative to obtain qualified and experienced advice or in considering preparing mutual Wills, as a number of considerations need to be discussed and thought through before the Wills can be properly implemented, and the risk properly managed. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss or enquire about mutual Wills.