tyra's picture

Step Children and Wills


We are in the process of writing our wills. My dh and I have a bs and my SD. We have been married for just over a year and together for over three years. I love my SD but differently than my own son. She is a only child for her mom who plans to have no more kids. Financially her mom is doing well...thanks to extremely large spousal support payments and child supprt payments. I have a good job and so does my husband.

My problem is...do we split things fifty fifty with the two children or do I give my half to our son and my husband splits his half with the two kids. We got married later in life so we both have our own accumulations.

I guess I feel that the SD will get 100% from her BM and maybe 50% from her dad. Or she I consider her my child as well and give her 50%. I know wills can be changed as circumstances change.

I am just stuck and not sure what is the right thing to do.

Thans for your help

skye22's picture

Well.. I would give 100 % to

Well.. I would give 100 % to my bc and let husband split his will 50/50. I agree that the stepchild also has a mother who will give 100% to her. Why should your child get 50 % from both his parents and the step child get 100 % from the mothers side and 50% from you and 50% from husband. That totals 150%. Just my opinion.

skye22's picture

more kids?

I forgot to ask if you intended on having more children in the future? If so, then your husbands half would be split 3 ways and your 2 ways.

tyra's picture


thanks for responding. my dh thinks 50 50. we are trying..miscarried a month ago...so we will try again. i am hitting 40 next month..so we will see.

happy mom's picture

In our case my life

In our case my life insurance is set 100% husband; contingent 100% daughter; none for stepson. My husband has 3 diff life ins. 2 of life ins. is 100% to me; contingent 50% to daughter & son equally; other life ins is split w/his parents, me and son, none for daughter (he figures whatever money I get I'll take care of our daughter). I guess w/our situation is based on trust, beneficiary is mainly to me w/him trusting me to take care of the children when he passes. I guess if your partner dies early and if children are beneficiary...child will not be able to have access to the money until they are 18 yrs of age. So to us, in case my husband dies or I die early, one of us will get the money and figure out the distribuiton from there and is most helpful if we need the money to pay off any debts. So I guess it depends on your plan.

-happy mom


-happy mom

Candice's picture

I agree with Sky22

I agree with Sky22 and give your 50% to your bc, and dh can split his 50% amoungst all of his children. Your sd will have monetary support from her biomom, and her finances are not your responsibility.

I feel that you would be cheating your childrens' income/future needs by giving some of your portion to your sd. She has a mother to respond to her financial needs along with her father, she does not need you to financially support her.

I personally haven't set up wills for myself, which I really need to do, but I will not leave any portion of my life insurance to my ss whatsoever. All my insurance money will go to my dh and my bc.

Dawn's picture

No bio children

I am wondering what I should do since I don't have any biochildren. My parents are concerned too. They don't want biomom getting any of their money either. Like if something happened to them and then something happened to me and my husband. My parents were thinking about putting in their will that stepson would get X amount.
I guess I could divide my money up and give most of it to my niece and nephew.
I know we would have to set up a trust for stepson though. Then any money that he would get would go into the trust.


 mary's picture

children and step children


tan868's picture

Similar situation

My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for 5. He has three children (all boys, 28, 22 and 19 years old) to previous marriage to witch! I have three children (daughters 21 and 19 and son 19) from previous marriage. My husband has business in his name and we have house in joint names. Recently did our wills and if he dies before me, his three boys get $ 100,000.00 each and the business and properties etc go to me. I did my will.............apparently I have nothing to leave my three children.....except for my personal belongings and jewellery. I have worked in the business all this time, bought our house with my husband and the contents, have a savings account in joint names, but was told by the solicitor that I do not have anything to give to my children? I cannot beleive the laws here in Australia.........Of course this upset me and my husband wasn't impressed that I wanted to leave my children anything, as he said that 'you came into the relationship with nothing'. At least I left my previous husband with everything as he had the children with him.

unhappy2happy's picture

I did see a divorce attorney

I did see a divorce attorney last year. Any thing that you have accumulated during your marriage is half yours. Land, Houses, 401 K/s savings ect... My husband wants me to give my son 1/3 of what we have and 1/3 to each of his 2 children. I think it should be 50 to my son and 50% to be split between his 2 children. Your husband can not force you to leave nothing to your child. As you can have your own will drawn up leaving your half of what you own to whom ever you like. Only by having a will will your child be protected, as if there is no will the estate goes to probate to be split between relatives. Your husband first, then your birth child.

Bonus Wife's picture


Wow, that's a good question. We have life ins....I am 100% his beneficiary, with my daughter getting it if something happened to both of us. And, on my ins. DH and my daughter are 50% each.
Reason being: It cost me 100,000.00 to renovate "my" home to accomodate his children...(this would have been my daughter's inheritance) so I thought it only fair she get compensated that money back if he dies prematurely. His kids are not even considered in our ins. policies because he isn't paying a dime towards even having them. But between us ladies, my plan (if he goes first and soon) is to pay off all the debt he incurred, pay for his funeral and then give his kids college money if there's any left over.

As far as my will...everything's going to my kid but I will leave certain things to my stepkids just because. I hope they realize that everything here I paid for. They probably don't but that's not my problem.

I also have a prenup which I hope to revise when we are married ten years if everything goes smoothly within our marriage. Again, right now, he gets nothing in any case scenario because he brought nothing but bills to the table.

Let's hope being poor was worth the price for love.

annmarie's picture

My Dilemma also

I found this website by surfing the net for an answer to this same question. I have a son from a previous marriage and my husband has four sons from a previous marriage...we will never have any more children. We need to prepare wills also and I agree with most of you folks. It is not far that my son should get 20% and my husband's children get 80% of the estate. I want to give 50% of the estate to his sons and 50% of the estate to my son (with a portion in estate for my grandchildren). My husband feels that this is not being fair, where on the other hand I feel that dividing it equally is being unfair to my son. As stated by Tyra, my husband's sons will be inheriting a hefty amount of money from their mother's side of the family. The one nagging question in the back of my mind is if I pass first everything goes to my husband, and vice versa. How does one ensure that those wishes are honored? Guess that is a question for an attorney.

unhappy2happy's picture

I would think that you

I would think that you should have your own life ins. policy with your son as the named as the benifactor. And I would also have your own will so you can leave your child what ever you wish.

tyra's picture

We still have not done our

We still have not done our wills yet and know that this has to been soon. I think once something is stated in a will and it is not contested then that is the law or maybe have an insurance policy that is just for your son in the event of your death.

I have decided that my 50% will go to my son. I have discussed this with my husband and he had not considered that option. Figured both kids would get equal amounts. I just don't see this as fair. I will include a letter addressed to my SD with the will so that she understands why I have done this...it has nothing to do with love. While I am alive she will be treated equally the same as my son (and new baby on the way).

She will end up with all of her mother's estate at one point so I figure she will be looked after well.

I need to address this as well with an attorney.

Curious's picture

Step's and inheritance

Any thoughts on inheritance? I have been married 3 years and have one bio-daughter 2 years old and a step son 9 years. My parents are well off and will probably leave some significant money to me. My question is when writing my will can I specify the majority of that money go to my daughter? I was considering asking my parents to amend their will to dispense 50% to me and 50% to my daughter. I'm not sure what will work?

Looking for ideas.

unhappy2happy's picture

I would have your parents

I would have your parents amend their will to ensure your daughter gets what you want her to get. Money can cause problems so in your case I would be sure that your daughter is taken care of. But I also believe that the step children should be taken care of if your husband was to die first. But this should come from what you and he have built together, not from the money you will be receiving from your side of the family.

Tanning Lotion's picture


Unfortunately I believe that it is a dilemna that needs to be addressed before you get married, but the heat of the moment does not allow most people to think that far ahead. When you married your spouse you also married his/her kids. It was a package deal. If your husband was worth $20 million and you were worth nothing would you think that it was fair for him to give your child nothing? Absolutely not and it would not be fair. It should be split equally amongst all children.

luvdagirl's picture

You can cut the $ any way

You can cut the $ any way you want too,we decided that since our first priority is the children and I don't want SD to not be able to afford college(lord forbid something happen ) or to feel short ended, or worse yet have it cause any resentment between the kids we have it set up that if SD goes w/BM or anyone her (gotta change to a third now) will be in trust w/ my brother and DHs brother needing to approve any withdrawl from the trust-in agreement. BM has no legal claim to anything but SS from government, and may fight it but will not get far the att. assures us and we have had a second opinion on the current will. It puts us at ease to know that BM will not be able to blow the money as she has no budgetting skills and would run through it like mad(she has any time she recieves money- and nothing to show for a dime of it) SD will get a monthly allotment from trust to help with clothing, special circumstances, medical bills(with reciept and paperwork)- this also allows us to know that SD will not be held from seeing atleast part of our families also.

There is no reaon where logic does not exist


There is no reason where logic does not exist

hangingin's picture

Re: Wills and Stepchildren

Our situation is just a little different,
My husband's father was an only child and inherited the family farm,he has never lived there, prefering to live in town.All these years he has rented out the old farm house where he was born,and where my husband spent every summer(all summer)with his grandparents,he loves the place so much.My father in law would not deed any of the land to hubby while his was married to BM.When we got married he waited a few years and then gift-deeded close to 10 acres so that we could build a home.He explained that he would not release the remaining land until he was VERY sure BM was well and trully out of the picture,due to her lack of control(on just abt everything)The land had been in the family for over 150 years.So we went and had a will made that stipulates my ss and our BS would inherit the farm and SD would get a monetary value of $25.000 (from dads life insurance) seeing as how much BM still controls SD and will surely spend every dime of it, as she has in the past spent all of SD money she had gotten from years of hard work with her Fair animals.And I have ALWAYS maintained that if anything should ever happen (death, divorce, I would NEVER take hubby's birthright) that I would not want to live on the farm by myself, I would prefer a small house in town.It is also stipulated that I am allowed to reside there for as long as I so choose. NO ONE can kick me out! So I have made sure that our son's birthright is protected. I heard through the grapevine that SD was PO'd when she found out! To bad, she and BM brought it on,by expecting that the world owes them the right to use and abuse!Wouldn't it be funny if, in our old age BM ends up living next to me if SS lets her live there? I might just have to invest in a shotgun! He He




jen76's picture

wills and stepchildren

In our case just about everything was mine before we got married. After DH and I had our own child I didn't think that it was fair that we split everything 50/50 between the kids. I don't want my things going to SD or BM for that matter. If something happens to DH 100% goes to me. If something happens to me first 50% to DH and 50% to our son. SD is not metioned in my will at all. Then if DH dies everything will be split evenly between the children. That way our son will end up with 3/4 and SD 1/4. She will get all of BM's assets so why should I be able to protect mine?

hangingin's picture

You are sooo right....

I am the one who sold MY home to finance HD's dream of living out at the farm. BUT... I am a sly old bird... who's to say that the life insurance will be there WHEN DH dies??? :)wink! wink!Smiling The Will stipulates that it come out of the VOLUNTARY TERM LIFE INSURANCE!!!
Sooo, if SD pisses me off (as she can do) She just may be SOL.
(Sh*t out of Luck)



ittakestwo's picture

This is a TOUGH subject

and we almost did NOT get married because of it. He wanted to provide for his and not mine. We own a business together, I was the one who did all the legwork to get the business opened while he worked another job. I pulled MY money that I got out of my divorce, first marriage, first house and retirement in order for us to be where we are today. I was the one ready to call it quits based on his feelings that "my children have a dad"... yea whatever.

So, today it stands like this.... I am now the primary beneficiary on the life insurance policy he took out. We have two trusts, one for his kids, one for mine. He and I are to be taken care of first, anything left over split 4 ways... if something happens to BOTH of us anything left over split 4 ways. I'm not completely in agreement with this because his son has NOT been a part of our family for 3 years. However, I know that if things continue after SS has reached "adult" status DH is ready to cut him out. At this time he (DH) holds BM responsible for PAS, at this point I'm not sure I buy it anymore. My main intent was to make sure MY kids were also taken care of because when we met we were pretty well equal as far as what we had. Where we are today... well, we got there together.

I was called greedy and selfish at first, but once he actually shut up long enough to listen he knew I was right. We came into this equal and we have done everything together... the time to blame BM for his kids actions will have to end at some point and he will have to face some truths. The bottom line is his kids have NO loyalty to HIM and all for BM... when he figures THAT out things may change yet again. MY kids while loyal to their dad are also loyal to me... these things will come out eventually IMO. But I will live with 4 way split for now and we will see what happens.

It is what it is...


It is what it is...

Catch22's picture

Same subjects here!!

I owned my home before I met DH and made it clear that my home will not be left to DH or SS, it will be left with my kids. It stipulates that DH and SS will always be able to reside here until Dh's death, after that my 2 boys will do with the property what they please. If Dh was to go first SS would still be able to reside here with me but would only be given any personal effects of his fathers that he wishes.

SS's grandparents on BM's side are very well off and my kids only have me, SS is the only beneficiary on his mothers side and will not be a poor teenager.

I am in the same situation with my father but he has been bullied to the other way of seeing things. He has been with his new lady friend for 2 years. He had home and money prior meeting her, she was on welfare. no home no money. He has now told me that myself and my brother (my dads only 2 children) will split his estate 7 ways...5 to her kids and 2 to me and my brother. Does that sound fair!!

Catch xx
*Mean People Suck*


Catch xx
*Mean People Suck*

StepLightly's picture

Split it up

Don't make your BKs deal with greedy SKs. Have their take take out a life insurance policy that makes them the beneficiaries and then your entire estate is split among BKs, stating "that the children from the previous have been taken care of in the way of a a life insurance policy in the amount of...blah, blah, blah". As far as those of you who have your own sets of kids...absolutely 50/50 (with each sets of kids splitting half). It shouldn't be your problem that he and his ex decided to have more kids!

StepLightly's picture


That should read, "have their DAD take out a life insurance..." Sorry, got excited;)

trailrider1943's picture

Grown Step Daughter

My husband and I have been married for 32 years.He has a daughter(40 years old) from a previous marriage who will inherit from her mother as she is her only child,her father and I have two girls together 30 and 25. My step daughter recently ask her father for her share of a 35 ac.farm we have out in the country. At this time we have no will but are getting ready to have one made up. My husband doesn't want to leave his daughter from the previous marriage anything as we rarely see her and she only comes around when she wants something. She has caused more hell for us than it can be imagined. She just wants this property to sell and get the money out of it. We have never told her or her half sisters they would be getting this property. And she has nothing to show for her life as she is like a gypsy running from place to place with no solid roots put down,she owns nothing and has nothing and what she does acquired she sells.. We want it fixed to where it would be a survival will,but still the living spouse be able to control what happens with the property. Is there a stipulation in Mississippi that a parent or step parent has to leave a biological child or step child anything in their will. I have heard it is from $1 dollar to $10 dollars. I don't feel a child who doesn't deserve to inherit should be able to. Any sugguestions

Catch22's picture

Ohhh nasty

I don't live in the U.S. so I can't help you with legalities but I really hate that...out right asking for what you have and you are still alive and she makes it worse by being a very part time visitor.

My mum is always saying oh that will be yours an that will be your brothers and I don't want to spend too much so you and your brother will get X. I always say mum...spend it all, have a blast now!! It will make me happier to see you enjoy your life than watch you squander what you have to give us some...My brother has other ideas..Grrr.

She's had a stroke, she see's him once or twice a year, I call her and see her every single day of my life for 4 years now to make sure all is Ok. People who think of what will be theirs when someone is still living are selfish and no better than vultures Sad

Catch xx
*Mean People Suck*


Catch xx
*Mean People Suck*

hangingin's picture

You said it Catch....

my grandmother (who is going to be 100 in Jan)was worried that the assisted living place where she lives will take all of her money before she dies, and I told her the same thing. My Uncles are very well off, one retired from Nasa, going stright from College to work there and the other one is a Professor and Christian Councelor. And they could care less about money. I told her they that very thing, do NOT worry about them, however she is worried about my Dad,who I will say had the exact same advantages as his brothers but but sqaundered them to party. He now lives alone in his childhood home by himself, with nothing to show for his years of "partying" except 5 children, of which 2 DO NOT AKNOWLEDGE HIS EXISTANCE. To his credit, he also does not care if my grandmother leaves him anything.As he told me once, I messed up my life, so I wil have to live with it. He did let me know a few years ago that he took out a life insurance policy for me to use the money for his burial expenses. He also said... better late than never.My 2 sisters may hold a grudge, but I don't, I already lost our Mother, I don't want to lose him without him knowing I love him very much, and it has taken years for him to even utter the words, BUT, he has told me he loves me too, and I think THAT is a big acomplishment for him.Just recently 1 of the 2 sisters told me she was ready to go visit him and talk, I told her I will be right there by her side! I will forgive, but DON'T ever forget! It makes US better people.
Also, my father's life choices does show that a parent can DO EVERYTHING RIGHT, and how your children turn out is really up to THEM....
Sorry, I slipped off the path there for a while, I just wanted let EVERY PARENT out there KNOW; do the best child rearing that you know how to and DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP!



hangingin's picture

Oh, one more thing...

No, my father was not a abusive, horrible man, he was just selfish and sometimes forgot he had children to raise. The resentment of the sisters comes from one sister being the oldest, and witnessing how horrible he treated our mother, and the youngest, was resentful because she was only 3 when our parents split up and he "forgot" he had her, in her words.



Selkie's picture

About inheritance

I did some research this weekend about the legalities of this situation. FH and I co-own the house. It is home to FH, my daughter, and I. The three teenaged skids don't live here and rarely visit. Since they have made it clear that they have no interest or intention of being part of our family, and have no interest in getting along with me or with my daughter, I am leaving them NOTHING.

Because we are living common-law right now, if something happened to FH they would be entitled to all of his assets, including half of my home. This is something we'll be remedying ASAP. His life insurance policy is enough to cover continued child support until they are 21, plus some left over to help me. They already have money in trust towards their post-secondary education. He will be increasing the amount to provide for my daughter and help me to pay off more of the mortgage to enable my daughter and I to stay in our home.

We will be drawing up wills that state if he dies first, everything goes to me (aside from the life insurance child support). When I die, 50% will go to his three kids, and 50% will go to my daughter. If I die first, everything will go to him until he dies and the same split occurs. I would hope that he and my daughter would stay in the home and he would continue to parent her (though I doubt that would happen, given their poor relationship).

The way I see it, his kids are not part of my family, do not want to be part of my family, and I have no obligation to them whatsoever. If things improve with their behaviour and attitudes I may change my mind at some point, but it's highly unlikely.

Angel's picture

He can leave

what he has to his kids, that would come about to nothing.

I get his retirement.

My kids get all my stuff. His kids get his stuff. I don't care if I have lots more stuff to leave my children. I won't apologize for it nor do I want to share it. PERIOD

Our kids are older. They all should work for what they have in life and not depend on anyone's money anyway.