Paul, 75, is getting remarried. He has four children from his first marriage who have grown up on the family farm and continue to visit regularly. His youngest daughter Jean, 47, who suffers from dyspraxia, still lives at home with him. Paul’s wife Christine passed away five years ago from cancer and the family are very happy that he has met Clare and is getting married. Clare has one son, Phillip, who has long term health issues relating to years of drug abuse.
Paul is concerned about the legal implications of getting remarried as he still wants the family property to pass to his children as it was his late wife’s inheritance. His last Will expressed those wishes. It was agreed at a family discussion that Paul, due to his upcoming marriage, should seek legal advice.
Paul spoke to his solicitor Colin, who advised that from the date of his marriage to Clare, his last Will would become invalid as a marriage revokes a Will. Paul became quite concerned about how his wishes regarding the family farm could be maintained while still ensuring Clare was provided for.
Colin advised Paul that he needed to make a new Will which would specifically include a clause that the Will was in contemplation of his marriage to Clare. This would ensure the effects of his Will would continue after his marriage to Clare.
Ben also advised Paul that he could leave Clare and Jean a right of residence to the family home. This would ensure Clare and Jean could live in the family whilst each of them was still alive but the house and farm would remain as an asset of Paul’s estate. This assured that Clare and Jean had a home to live in until their passing but when both had died, the farm would then pass to Paul’s surviving children, as was his wish. This would also ensure Clare’s son Phillip had no claim on the family home as the asset would never be transferred to Clare as owner.
A person with a Right of Residence can reside in the property until they die and that person cannot be removed without their consent unless the residence is not maintained in a good state of repair. They can only move another person into the house on the consent of the trustee. They need permission from the trustee to make any structural changes. The terms of a Right of Residence would normally leave the benefactor with the responsibility of paying for all rates, taxes and utilities relating to the property.
There are many different aspects to be taken into consideration when making a Will and expert legal advice should always be obtained to ensure your assets are secure and pass according to your wishes.