Will: Estate Split between Siblings

Finally got around to printing off my free will kit and was working through it today. I'm married and my wife and I have agreed to leave everything to each other in full if one of us dies. If we both die within 30 days of each other, we agreed to leave everything to our siblings since we can't have kids. I have 2 siblings and she has 1.

Poll question:

Should the split be Option 1 - My Sibling (25%), My Other Sibling (25%), Her Sibling (50%) or Option 2 - Split evenly 3 ways?

Bonus discussion question:

If one of us out lives the other considerably, do you think the dead person's sibling(s) should get any of the estate when the other eventually dies?

We're probably going to go with Option 1 and no obligation or guidance as to who gets the final estate in the case of outliving the other. At the end of the day, when you are dead who cares? Just wanted to see what you all thought.


Clarifications from comments…
- We earn roughly the same salary and started the relationship with similar assets.
- We have a very close and positive relationship across both immediate families. I can't envisage death or money changing that but no one can see the future I guess.
- I am talking about this openly with my wife, I just posted this to get more points of view and opinions.
- Of course she can change her will or her mind, but if I live the rest of my life being happy about where my estate is potentially going, that is one less thing I need to worry about.

The only thing that strongly supports Option 1 is that whilst all 4 of our parents are alive, her inheritance will eventually be considerably larger than mine. I guess her sibling may see his parent's estate funnel to my sibling's in the case of us dying after all our parents dying with Option 2.

Poll Options

  • 20
    Option 1 (25:25:50)
  • 25
    Option 2 (33:33:33)


  • If she works and contributes to mortgage etc option one is very reasonable.

  • You need to include guidance in the final estate in the case of outliving eachother. You have no idea how the siblings will behave after you're gone. Seeing as they would have received a percentage of it otherwise, of course it makes sense that they should still receive part of it. It should be made clear. It's just a few lines, you've got nothing to lose by adding it.

    • Guidance? OP made clear that if one spouse survived the other, the survivor inherits absolutely. How siblings “behave” is besides the point.
      Please educate yourself on how family provision claims work before spouting poor advice.

  • I'd say it depends how you get on with each sibling. If you don't get on with any, or you think they don't really need it, there are probably other worthy causes that would love your money.

  • I suggest you sort this out with your wife. I’ve seen multiple generations of my mothers family torn apart due to fights over money and responsibility. Nobody wants to look after old grandma but everyone wants the money when she is dead. Fortunately our generation just cared about each other.

    We are in the same boat you are, no kids of our own and going to leave it to our siblings. In our case we decided on an even split amongst all the siblings to make it fair. The extended family is just that. I’ve got more siblings but I also earned more money and super. If he had insisted on a 50/50 split I would’ve said OK, but we both felt this was cleaner and easier to manage.

    Hopefully it will be a long time, and few will adjustments, before you need to really worry about it. My suggestion, as you get older, is to adjust the will to benefit whoever is willing to look after you. I may joke that my nieces and nephews will decide what old people’s home I end up in, but it could be true. a family that neglects us is not worth a split.

  • Just take note that if you think you are making matching wills, there is nothing preventing your spouse from changing their will without your knowledge at any point in the future.
    Also you can't control what happens to your partner's estate. So if you predecease them, but leave all your estate to your partner, what they decide to do in leaving their estate will be entirely outside your control.
    Good luck,

  • Option 1 may be received as a dick move, like the two of you like or preference her sibling more.

    When you married her sibling became yours and yours hers. They’re all both your siblings now.
    My opinion is option 2 is the fairest and likely to reduce any potential hostility or dramas.

  • So if your partner out lives you for more than 30 days your own siblings don't get anything…

    I think a fair point would be after whom ever passes 50% of the estate should go to deceased siblings

    When eventually the other partner eventually dies their 50% of the estate would go to whom they want

    The remaining partner that lives longer could adopt a cat in their solitude and may want to give everything to it.

    • I think a fair point would be after whom ever passes 50% of the estate should go to deceased siblings

      Not a chance. We both worked hard and supported each other to get to where we were and will continue doing that for as long as we can.

      • My wife read it briefly and said.. that a suggestion would be you could write it he will that the estate will only be distributed once bother partners have deceased.

    • I think a fair point would be after whom ever passes 50% of the estate should go to deceased siblings

      Partner A dies and now Partner B has to sell the house in order to pay out their deceased partner's siblings? For a lot of couples their home, (even the mortgage is not fully paid off) will form a large part of the estate.

      I can see why many couples would not choose this option for their wills.

      • Yeah.. that wasn't a great idea.

        But it also depends on what sort of assets the op has.

        For eg.. my wife and I has a family home that we live in but Both have 2 investment properties each.. if I passed First I would give my 2 investment properties to my sister as we don't have kids. My wife still has the family home which we both own and her own investments

  • Bite the bullet and see a solicitor and get 'proper' advice. While you're there organise a power of attorney and enduring power of attorney-this will solve all the fights when you're gone. I only have one kid and she will get it all but otherwise split between our siblings.

  • If you think they'll be trouble and you're using a diy will kit, you have rocks in your head. It won't have a leg to stand on when challenged.

  • Have some fun with it and sneakily write your wife's sibling out of it. It'll be a hoot for everyone when they read out the will!

  • The legal fraternity don't like it but when alive dish out some assets that aren't required to the worthy recipient's .

  • Leave it to your pet chihuahua.

  • My perspective is more 25/25/50.

    50% to your family; 50% to her family.

    The main reason would be if you weren't to together it would default that way - 100% to your siblings and 100% to her sibling.
    So 50% to each side of the family.

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