What is sideways disinheritance and how can it be avoided?

What is sideways disinheritance

So called sideways disinheritance occurs when beneficiaries (most often children of a first marriage) do not inherit their intended share of an estate due to remarriage.  

Examples of sideways disinheritance

Take as an example, a situation where you pass away and your partner re-marries and then passes away without making a Will (intestate). Your children’s intended inheritance is likely to pass to the new spouse’s family leaving your children from your first marriage with nothing.

Another example is where you could be in a second relationship and only have basic wills in place, leaving everything to each other and then the children.  If you pass away the surviving partner could change their Will and cut out your children altogether.

Imagine how complicated this could be for those in second or third relationships with children from previous families.

How to protect children from sideways disinheritance?

It is actually very easy to put protection in place to stop this happening to your children. The first way is by having comprehensive wills to cover the position. But even this may not be sufficient. Depending on your circumstances a discretionary trust could be advisable to protect your children’s inheritance.


For further information on this subject, making a will or protecting your children’s inheritance by way of a discretionary trust, why not contact one of Alexander JLO’s experts to see what we can do for you?

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