Splitting inheritance

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MoneyQuestion
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Splitting inheritance

Postby MoneyQuestion » Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:56 am

Hello Everyone
I'm going down a bit of a rabbit hole on this and I don't think I can be as independent as I should so I'd be grateful for some calm advice.

I'm married and my wife and I are at that stage where we are getting wills etc in place. We don't have huge amounts of money but with property prices being what they are then it's not insignificant.

This is our first marriage and we have a child together but my wife also has a lovely daughter from an earlier relationship. The issue is that my wife wants us to split everything between our "two" children but in my eyes I can't get away from the fact that "we" only have one child and my wife also has another, if that makes sense.

I know that sounds a little unkind but my wife's daughter was an adult at university when we started dating and so she has never lived with us. Again, if I can sound a little mercenary, most of the money has come from my side so I feel as though I'm taking it out of my own child's pocket to give to someone else.

We're not planning on going anywhere for a very very long time, so a part of me feels I could just agree for the sake of a more harmonious home life, but it is bugging me.

I'm also aware that whenever money is concerned it's very hard to be independent and unbiased in one's thinking.

If anyone has any calm thoughts on this I'd be grateful to hear them, especially if they've dealt with this issue before.

Thank you.
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Goldhawk
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Goldhawk » Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:50 am

You don't have to have mirror wills that say the same
You can leave your estate to your child and your wife can leave hers to her two children
Your adult stepdaughter has another parent she can inherit from??
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Bishops12
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Bishops12 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:19 am

I agree with Goldhawk. Your wife's grown up daughter will have inheritance from the other side of her family. From what you have said, you didn't raise her and whilst you may love her, you should not be expected to leave your money to her at the expense of your own child.
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Amapola0
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Amapola0 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:01 am

It also depends on what the relationship is between the two children and what you would like it to be.
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Greekloo
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Greekloo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 am

I am a solicitor who drafts Wills and completely understand your predicament. I do think you and your wife should have mirror Wills as otherwise you are leaving your estate to fate, depending on who dies first.

Will your wife’s first daughter also receive funds from her father on his death? If so, that should also be taken into account.

My advice is to discuss it, as it is something that concerns you and will only wind you up inside if you do not reach a decision you are both happy with. I would suggest a percentage split that you can both live with. Whilst your mutual daughter is little, her share should be much higher as should you both pass away it will have to see her into adulthood. Once she is in her mid-20s and is finding her way, you can review your Wills.

I hope that helps.

Good luck!
Louisa
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Greekloo
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Greekloo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:33 am

I am a solicitor who drafts Wills and completely understand your predicament. I do think you and your wife should have mirror Wills as otherwise you are leaving your estate to fate, depending on who dies first.

Will your wife’s first daughter also receive funds from her father on his death? If so, that should also be taken into account.

My advice is to discuss it, as it is something that concerns you and will only wind you up inside if you do not reach a decision you are both happy with. I would suggest a percentage split that you can both live with. Whilst your mutual daughter is little, her share should be much higher as should you both pass away it will have to see her into adulthood. Once she is in her mid-20s and is finding her way, you can review your Wills.

I hope that helps.

Good luck!
Louisa
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ClaphamPkorNot?!
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby ClaphamPkorNot?! » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:24 am

I'm trying to write this as dispassionately as possible, but apologies if I'm going beyond advice. 

I'm like your step daughter, but my parents divorced when I was very young and both remarried before I was five so my step-parents have been there for all of my retained memory.  Following my mum's second divorce (25 years later), my now ex(?)-step dad is remarried. Just to add in the mix, my wife's parents also separated and then divorced when  she was in her 20s. 

All parents have got the age where they're planning wills. My step-parents' attitude couldn't be more different, with one wanting to give almost every thing to their child and the other splitting everything evenly between a number of children. Knowing this, certainly has an impact on my relationship with my parent in that relationship. 

You mention wanting a more harmonious home life. I think you've got to ask yourself the question of what relationship you'd want with your step-daughter if her mother were to pre-decease you and indeed how you want your wife's relationship with both of her daughters to be while you're both still alive.  Also, who would look after your daughter if both you and your wife died at the same time?  I'd definitely be open with the adult daughter as to what your decision is.

You don't need to split the estate evenly, but providing nothing for your step-daughter (and with the best will in the world, who did exist and presumably was part of your decision when marrying her mother, despite her being an adult) seems (in my view) unnecessary.    Bottom line, what would you both say to your step-daughter to have her understand your joint decision, and for her not to feel hurt by it?
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Kirstie’s Mom
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Kirstie’s Mom » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:46 am

My partner has 2 children from his marriage and I have one . We both owned homes separately before we met and have considerable assets . So that the children don’t kill each other when we are gone and to leave no animosity . My daughter gets my estate . His children gets his . Very clean and simple .
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Happymummy2014
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Happymummy2014 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:37 am

I thought ClaphamPkOrNot?! said it perfectly. Perhaps it helps to consider what happens if there is a real disparity. It may be long in the future, but it could still be tough for either child to see her only sister having much more (or much less) than she does - so thinking about how your daughter would feel is as important as thinking about your stepdaughter’s feelings. Family rows/rifts are often built on a perception of who was loved or valued more than another, and sometimes money is seen as a sign of that.
I know one family where the child’s divorced parents (each remarried with one more child) all decided to make wills dividing their assets 2/3 and 1/3, so each child is assumed to get approximately the same overall. It isn’t perfect (what if one parent is much wealthier than the other?) but it’s their attempt to be fair.
Not touting for business, but I do this for a living (as an ex lawyer, now mediator/adviser) so please do PM me if you and your wife think it would help to bounce ideas around with a neutral third party.
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Ex Clapham resident
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby Ex Clapham resident » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:25 pm

I am in a similar situation and in the very early days of our relationship said that I would like to leave all of my assets to our child, expecting that my partner would divide their assets amongst the three children. My two step children will ultimately inherit a substantial amount from their other parent, so I don’t feel that this is unfair. I accumulated significant assets before meeting him, but still think our child will end up with less than my step children.

I think it boils down to whether your step daughter will get enough from her mother’s family.
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dudette
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby dudette » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:00 pm

Are you not going to leave everything to your wife and she to you? I'm not a lawyer but isn't that what most people do, to avoid inheritance tax? If you wife predeceases you then you could change your will afterwards to leave more to your own daughter. If you predecease her then she will get everything and it's up to her who she leaves it to. The only issue is if you both die together but that is fairly unlikely. I wouldn't make too big a thing of this at the moment. You can always change your wills again as you get older and when you will have had longer to have a relationship with your step-daughter, or not. 
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gail0810
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby gail0810 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:47 pm

Both of my parents have remarried and have decided to split their estates equally amongst all the children on both sides. On my Dad's side he has two and his wife has one - but she was fine with a 'lesser' proportion of the inheritance going to her son.

My Mum and step dad are leaving their inheritance in trust for their grandchildren - so it will by pass me. My step dad has a step grand daughter from his son's wife's previous relationship and again, they are splitting all the monies equally between all grandchildren including the step grandchild - for the sake of fairness and family harmony. I am happy with that. I would not wish to see my children getting more and the step grand child getting nothing as a result.

 
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JosyPaigan
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Re: Splitting inheritance

Postby JosyPaigan » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:10 pm

For the family harmony I'd split it equally, truth be told
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