The devestating effects of Sideways Disinheritance

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The Devastating Impact of Sideway Disinheritance: 

A Tale of Lost Inheritance and Blended Families.

Introduction: In the intricate tapestry of family dynamics, remarriage can introduce complex challenges, especially when it comes to estate planning. Sideway disinheritance, a term used to describe the unintended disinheritance of children due to step-parents and step-siblings inheriting the entire estate, can have profound and often heartbreaking consequences. This article explores the story of a deceased mother, her remarriage, and how sideway dis-inheritance affected her children, ultimately leading to the loss of their rightful inheritance.

The Story: 

Sarah lived in a small Norfolk town, just outside of Norwich. She had two children from her first marriage, Emily and Thomas. Following the passing of Sarah’s first husband, she met and fell in love with a kind-hearted man named Jack, who also had two children from a previous marriage. 

Sarah and Jack decided to embark on a new journey together, getting married & creating a blended family.

They bought a house together as Joint Tenants and also purchased insurance to pay off any outstanding mortgage if one of them passed away and Sarah’s primary concern was ensuring the financial well-being of her children, so she approached the topic of estate planning with Jack and they discussed getting Wills into place and decided to use a cheap online service which created basic Mirror Wills, leaving everything to each other and then down to their own children in each will (thinking this would mean their assets would be split and pass to their own children).

On the surface, it appeared that Sarah and Jack had taken the necessary steps to protect the interests of their children from previous relationships.

Tragedy struck unexpectedly when Sarah passed away. Her now grown up children, Emma and Thomas, mourned the loss of their beloved mother while trying to navigate the legal processes associated with her estate. To their dismay, they discovered that Sarah’s assets had been transferred entirely to Jack, their stepfather, as per the provisions of the mirror wills but were under the impression (after discussions with their stepfather Jack) that they would still inherit their late mother’s assets when their stepfather passed .

Many years later, Jack, having inherited everything, fell ill and passed away and as per the instructions within his will, his biological children were named as joint beneficiaries and now all assets passed to them. 

Consequently, the story of sideway disinheritance unfolded before the eyes of Emily and Thomas. The inheritance they had expected, an acknowledgment of their mother’s love and hard work, slipped through their fingers, replaced by an uncertain future.

The impact of sideway disinheritance on Emily and Thomas was profound. The intended legacy left by their mother was lost, as the assets that could have provided for their future endeavors were distributed to James’ biological children.

This heartbreaking situation exposed the importance of proper estate planning, especially in blended families. 

By speaking with an expert estate planner who could have created a comprehensive Will using Trust Planning, Sarah could have ensured that her children were not unintentionally disinherited and that her assets were distributed according to her wishes.

Conclusion: The tale of Sarah, Jack, Emily, and Thomas serves as a poignant reminder of the repercussions of sideway dis-inheritance within blended families. 

Failing to address estate planning in these complex family dynamics can result in unintended consequences, leading to strained relationships and financial hardships for the children involved.

Seeking the guidance of professionals who specialize in estate planning can help ensure that the wishes of all family members are considered and protected.

By proactively addressing these sensitive matters, families can navigate the complexities of inheritance, protect the interests of all parties involved, and honor the legacy of love and care that should extend beyond biological ties.

To find out how to avoid the heartache of sideways disinheritance Call 01362 288582

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