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Thanks for requesting me.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
Is the house in both your names? Is it held as joint tenants or tenants in common?
Is the money in the bank in a joint account?
Yes, but is the house held as joint tenants OR as tenants in common, or do you not know?
The joint bank account would pass automatically to the surviving joint holder of the bank account.
It's more common for married couples to hold the property jointly so that the survivor inherits the share of the property automatically upon death of the first to die, but you should check.
Download a copy of the registered title for your property here for a small fee:-
Look at the propreitorship register of the title you have downloaded from the Land Registry (where the proprietors of the property are listed). If the following entry is immediately below the named registered proprietors then the interests are held as tenants in common:-" No disposition by a sole propreitor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the Court"
If the entry is there then the deceased's share of the property would pass according to their Wills or under the intestacy rules.If there is no such entry then the proprty is held as joint tenants.
Your estate and your wife's estate are separate. You can make mirror Wills with a local solicitor leaving your respective estates to eachother and then to your children. But if one of you dies and then the other inherits absolutely then they can execute new Will if they choose. There are ways that you can ensure that your children inherit after your wife though (eg you both leave the property and/or cash to your children but with the surviving partner to have a life interest to live in the property until death and to be entitled to the income from cash/savings until they themselves die), and with that amount of assets you really need to see a local solicitor about drafting a pair of Wills and giving you some basic estate planning. It would cost around £300+vat for two basic Wills and only a shade more than that for some basic estate planning.
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