David and Sue were married with 2 children Josh and Emily; they had made mirror wills leaving everything to each other and then all in equal shares to their 2 children.
David and Sue got divorced, the family home went to Sue and Sue later met and married Pete.
Sue sold her house, Pete sold his house and Sue and Pete bought a new family home together.
The new Family home had been purchased and was owned as 'Joint Tenants'.
Tragically Pete and Sue were in a car accident and Sue died at the scene, Pete died 3 years later without ever having made a will. Under the 'Rules of Survivorship,' the new family home now belonged entirely to Pete. Sue had always thought that her kids would inherit her share of the new property, but her old will had been nullified upon her marriage to Pete. Sue had, therefore, died 'intestate' (without a will) and all that she owned (her estate) now rightfully had passed to her spouse (Pete).
Pete also died 'intestate' with 2 now adult children of his own from a previous relationship. However, as Pete had never bothered to make a will so when he died, under the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ his entire estate went to his 2 children in equal shares. Sue’s 2 children, Josh & Emily were therefore disinherited.
This is an issue that could have disastrous effects on your estate distribution to your chosen beneficiaries.
There could be many other scenarios that could have the same outcome. Could this affect you?