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How to Protect Your Inheritance from Your Spouse’s Future Partner

We all know someone who felt short-changed on the passing of a parent, only to see their new husband or wife take the lion’s share. Estate planning is essential for securing your family's financial future. While a simple will might seem sufficient, ensuring your assets benefit your children and not a future partner of your spouse can be more complex. This post explores the pitfalls of traditional wills, the impact of remarriage or cohabitation after a spouse's death, and the potential for contentious probate, along with the solutions to avoid these issues.

Remarriage or Cohabitation: The Hidden Risks

Consider what might happen if your spouse remarries or cohabits with a new partner after your death. This scenario is more common than you might think and carries significant implications for asset distribution.

Statistics on Remarriage and Cohabitation

In the UK, remarriage and cohabitation among widowed individuals are relatively common, highlighting the importance of this consideration:

  • 10% of widowed individuals remarry within five years.

  • 20% remarry within ten years.

  • Over 30% cohabit with a new partner within ten years.

These statistics show significant changes in your spouse’s personal life that could impact your estate’s intended distribution.

Changes to the Will and Legal Challenges

Even without a new partner, your spouse can change their will after your death, introducing several risks:

  • Disinheritance of Children: Changes to the will could result in your children being partially or entirely disinherited.

  • Contentious Probate: Wills can be contested, leading to legal battles, especially in second marriages. Contentious probate cases have increased, with a significant portion involving second marriages.

Interference from Second Marriages

Second marriages add complexities to estate planning, often leading to disputes over inheritance:

  • Probate Disputes: About 70% of contentious probate cases involve disputes related to second marriages, highlighting conflicts between children from a first marriage and a second spouse.

  • Increased Legal Challenges: The likelihood of a will being challenged increases with stepfamilies, leading to prolonged legal battles and depleted estate value.

Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance with PD Wills Estate Planning

Given the potential pitfalls of traditional wills, adopting more secure estate planning strategies is crucial. I offer a detailed consultation process where we discuss the use of trusts within your will to offer asset protection.

Benefits of Trusts

  • Flexibility and Control: Trusts let you set terms on asset distribution, ensuring they benefit your children.

  • Lifetime Use for Spouse: You can grant your spouse lifetime use of certain assets without transferring ownership, protecting the principal.

  • Asset Protection: Trusts can issue loans to beneficiaries, safeguarding assets from creditors, divorce settlements, and legal challenges.

By incorporating trusts into your estate plan, you can ensure that your legacy is preserved and passed down according to your wishes.


Understanding the risks and solutions for ensuring your assets go to your intended beneficiaries is crucial. With PD Wills, you can create a robust estate plan that safeguards your family’s financial future. Don't leave your children's inheritance to chance. Get started today by booking your free consultation with me at PD Wills.


  1. Office for National Statistics (ONS), "Marriage, divorce, and cohabitation statistics."

  2. Office for National Statistics (ONS), "Living arrangements and relationship statistics."

  3. Ministry of Justice, "Contentious probate cases involving second marriages."

  4. Ministry of Justice, "Statistical analysis of probate disputes."


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