Case Studies

Accidental Dis-Inheritance

What is Accidental Dis-Inheritance?

Steve and Sue have normal wills, Steve and Sue are both in their 30’s and each have a will that leaves everything to each other, and on second death, leaves everything to their two young children, Jake and Chloe, in equal shares.

Steve dies aged 36 in 1994 after a very short illness, leaving Sue and their two children to carry on.

Sue was young enough to consider a new relationship and in 1998 she started seeing Ray, who was divorced with 2 children of his own. Ray lived in rented accommodation and moved in with Sue, Jake and Chloe after a few months together.

They got married in 2001 and although Ray was fond of his two step-children Jake and Chloe, he always favoured his own children over his step-children.

Everything was fine until Sue was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and she died in the summer of 2017.

Sue did not realise that once she got married her old will became invalid, so she never thought about making a new will.

As such, Sue died without a valid will and her estate was distributed in accordance with intestacy rules which gifted everything she owned to Ray. Her two children, Jake and Chloe received nothing from their Dad’s or Mum’s estate.


Steve and Sue with Protective Property Wills

Steve and Sue are both in their 30’s and have a will that gifts their 50% share of the family home into a protective property trust and what’s left apart from the family home is left to each other, and on second death, leaves everything to their two young children, Jake and Chloe, in equal shares.

Also the protective property trust allows Sue to live in the family home (50% of which is owned by the Trust) for as long as she wants to, after which Jake and Chloe will inherit 50% of the family home.

Steve dies aged 36 in 1994 after a very short illness, leaving Sue and their two children to carry on.

Sue was young enough to consider a new relationship and in 1998 she started seeing Ray, who was divorced with 2 children of his own. Ray lived in rented accommodation and moved in with Sue, Jake and Chloe after a few months together.

They got married in 2001 and although Ray was fond of his two step-children Jake and Chloe, he always favoured his own children over his step-children.

Everything was fine until Sue was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and she died in the summer of 2017.

Sue did not realise that once she got married her old will became invalid, so she never thought about making a new will.

As such, Sue died without a valid will and her estate was distributed in accordance with intestacy rules which gifted everything she owned to Ray.


It's important that you ensure you have an up to date will, remember if you re-marry your old will become invaild. Talk to an adviser today to learn more about the benefits of creating a will.

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