The modern family unit is now so complicated that it bears no resemblance to the traditional idea of a family with a mother, father and several children.
It is now common for both mothers and / or fathers to have children to one or more other partners. Many second or even third marriage or partnership unions bring with them children as part of the package, from previous relationships.
Where past or present relationships are not built on calm waters, this can cause complications when the issue turns to probate. The contents of a Will can be changed in the event of death, if all beneficiaries agree to the amendment. Similarly, it has been known for partners to change the content.
One way to prevent this from happening is by preparing an irrevocable Will.
For example, provided that the family home is jointly owned by both husband and wife, it would then automatically be passed to the wife in the event of her husband's death. If they had only had children together, then, in the event of her own death, the property would naturally be divided among the couple's children. However, if the husband also had children from a previous marriage, and the wife did not maintain a relationship with them after his death, then she could legally choose to make a new Will, leaving the home to her children only and leaving her husband's children precisely nothing.
To ensure this does not happen, it is advised that both parties in the partnership prepare irrevocable Wills so that all of their children from all relationships will benefit from the joint Estate, when both partners are denied.