Second marriages: How to protect your legacy
A consequence of increased life expectancy and a high divorce rate is that there are a growing number of people who are entering into second and even third marriages.
Making wills for today's couples in a non-traditional family arrangement can often be complex and require a high level of expertise.
Wills for couples who have remarried raise their own particular issues.
Often it will be necessary to balance the interests of the spouse who survives against the interests of the children of the first spouse to die.
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Typically a solution is to use a trust so that the surviving spouse may continue to benefit from the estate of the first to die for the rest of their life.
The underlying assets are protected and pass to the children of the first to die when the surviving spouse dies.
Addressing how inheritance tax will be paid may be an equally important issue. Care needs to be taken to ensure that neither couple's estate bears a disproportionate share of inheritance tax, thereby avoiding resentment between the two sets of beneficiaries.
Inheritance tax is a key consideration too for a person who has remarried following the death of their previous spouse. This may provide their estate with the benefit of an extra nil rate amount (£325,000 currently). In fact where a couple are a widow and widower it is possible for four nil rate amounts to be claimed.
If you would like further information about wills and estate planning, please contact David Whitworth, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors on 01225 485700 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively visit www.mowbraywoodwards. co.uk.