Here is another tale that it gives me no pleasure to tell, and in order to tell it I will again use imaginary people but the circumstances are very real and happened recently…

Many years ago Dawn married Simon and they bought a house together and had three children. Simon had an affair with someone at work and left Dawn and the children to move in with her. Dawn divorced Simon and became the sole owner of the house, struggling to raise the children and pay the mortgage with part time work and maintenance for the children that Simon was ordered to pay. Simon married his mistress and they went on to have a son together and buy a house together.

Years later, after the two eldest children had left home, Dawn met Michael and fell in love with him. He moved in and soon they were married. By this time, Dawn was suffering some life limiting health conditions and had to give up work.

She and Michael agreed that he would take on responsibility for the remaining mortgage payments and he was added to the title. They agreed that, as Dawn had paid the mortgage for 12 years on her own, with 13 years remaining that Michael would pay, that upon their demise they would leave the house to be shared equally between Dawn’s three children and Michael’s two children from his first marriage.

They were advised to sever their tenancy and put in place trusts in their wills to deal with their own shares in the property, but they decided that this was too expensive and they went to a “cheap wills” provider, who provided them with basic mirror wills that left everything to each other and then, once they had both died, divided their joint estate equally amongst their five respective children.

Sadly, Dawn’s health deteriorated and she died in hospital after a short but severe illness. Not long after he inherited everything from Dawn, and under some pressure from his two children, Michael changed his will to leave everything to be shared only by them, leaving nothing to Dawn’s three children. This happens a lot and it is called sideways disinheritance. Don’t let it happen in your family! As with many other things in life, cheap isn’t always best and can turn out to be far more expensive in the long run.

Call us today FREE and without obligation on 0333 000 7880 to talk about this. Your will, your way, our trusted expertise.


Written By Mark Everest – Mark is retired from the police service and is married to Susan with two grown up daughters.  He has been in estate planning for five years and is one of our estate planners.  Mark also produces and presents our seminars on estate planning and equity release, as well as being the author of our explanatory cartoons.  When he isn’t working Mark’s interests include motorcycling, tourism and particularly cricket, where he is an England fan as well as a player, umpire and club secretary for his local village side.