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How do I protect my assets for my children?

Marrying more than once is now common and many people may find themselves trying to decide how best to juggle the financial needs of their new spouse while at the same time making sure children from a previous relationship receive their fair share.

If you die without leaving a Will the bulk of your assets might pass to your spouse or civil partner and they can then leave them to whoever they choose. In the same way if you leave your estate to your spouse outright in your Will they can then make a Will after your death which might mean that your children are dis-inherited.

The best way of protecting your assets for your children, but at the same time looking after your second spouse, is to draw up a Will which includes a trust. Under the terms of the trust, your spouse would be entitled to the income from your assets for the rest of their life, or to live in any property which you own jointly together, and after your spouse’s death the remaining assets would be guaranteed to pass to your children. In the meantime the trustees, who you nominate in your Will, would look after the assets. The trustees could be given power to give capital from your estate to your spouse but this would be at their discretion, your spouse would have no right to capital.

This type of trust is as tax efficient as an outright gift to your spouse and protects your assets for your children. It also helps ensure that your estate is not exhausted paying your spouse’s possible future care fees. Making a Will is the best way in this situation to ensure fairness and financial security for the whole family.

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