Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

My friend tells me that neither she nor her husband of 20 years has made a will. Her husband has two sons by a previous marriage and the house they live in is in his name only. In the event of her husband’s death, what claim would the stepchildren have on the estate?

The wife would get the first £250,000 of the estate and half the remainder under intestacy rules. The stepsons would get the other half. However it is essential they make wills, since if their house is at all substantial it could well swallow up the wife’s “allowance”, leaving her with a property in which she has only a part interest and no capital. Under those circumstances she could possibly apply for a larger share under the family provision legislation, but that would only add unnecessary complication and expense.

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