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A Case Study on Blended or Mixed Families

Further to our recent article on ‘Modern Families’ this article delves deeper into the issues certain modern families may face and the answers to specific issues modern families may face.

The article also includes a general ‘case study’ which provides objective advice and examples of how certain problems can be overcome.

The article is only a general idea of issues faced and is designed to stimulate discussion and understanding of how to overcome problems a modern family may face.

Examples of blended families:

  • Australian married to a European

  • European married to UAE National

  • UK Married to Malaysian

  • European married to UK

  • Indian married to Philippine

The above are only examples of certain situations financial advisors come across which will affect the advice we provide to clients. Religion also plays a part for instance if we deal with a couple where one is a Muslim and the other a Christian or alternatively a Christian and Hindu.

Case Study:

A British National married to a Philippine national both living and working in the UAE.

The man is from the UK and owns property in his own name in the UK plus he owns a property in Dubai jointly with his wife. He also has a significant company pension in the UK plus various other investments and bank accounts. Aside from the property in Dubai jointly owned with his wife the man also has a joint bank account with his wife in the UAE and his own bank account in the UAE where his salary is paid.

The wife who is from the Philippines as well as jointly owning the property in the UAE with her husband and has a joint bank account in the UAE owns property in her own name in the Philippines. She also has various bank accounts and other investments in the Philippines.

The couple has two children who have UK passports and are 20 and 23. The eldest child works in the UK while the youngest is studying in the US.

The couple hopes to stay and work in the UAE until they retire in five to ten years but are not sure where they will retire.

Neither of them currently has a Will.

After an initial consultation, the couple agreed they needed to resolve the following issues:

On the death of either the husband or wife the estate of the deceased should go to the surviving spouse or their children if not possible.

If both the husband and wife died before both children reached 25 then an executor or trustee should be appointed to manage the estate of the deceased couple. Instructions would be left for the executor/trustee as to how to use the benefits from the estate for the children until they reached 30 when the balance of the estate could then be split between the two children.

Discussion Points and Suggestions:

Currently, as the couple has no Wills anywhere their objectives would not be carried out, and having no Wills the surviving spouse would suffer unnecessary complications and expenses in achieving custody over the deceased spouse's assets.

A starting point discussed would be for the couple to consider a Dubai Joint Mirror Will to specifically cover only their assets in the UAE. The Dubai Will would cover their joint property in Dubai plus various bank accounts and any gratuity owed by employers or life insurance in the UAE. In the event they both passed away at the same time the assets they have in the UAE would be split between their two children.

It would also be recommended for the couple to organize a UK Will which would also be a Joint Mirror Will and would cover the assets of the husband in the UK. The children could be nominated as beneficiaries so once the husband and wife are no longer around the kids would benefit.

The couple also is considering buying other property in the UK later in joint names which would form part of the Will in the UK.

Assets owned by the wife in the Philippines:

It was discussed that it maybe be a good idea to apply for the children to get Filipino passports so that they could inherit the ‘landed property’ that their mother owns in the Philippines.

The couple is also considering buying a property where they might spend part of their retirement in the Philippines. Again if the kids have dual nationality [Filipino/UK] it will make it easier for them to inherit assets in the Philippines and possibly avoid taxes.

It would also be worth the wife organizing a Will in the Philippines to cover her assets there as she may also want to leave certain gifts to her family who still lives in the Philippines.


The above case study is purely for educational purposes and to give readers an idea of the services the Astra group offer. Our reach is global but we have specific excellence and knowledge with regard to clients based in countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UK, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Holland, France, and other countries in Europe.

The Astra group also covers the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia plus Australia and New Zealand.

As more and more people move abroad for work and meet partners abroad the need for quality advice for these blended families grows. The Astra group and its advisors are uniquely positioned to help clients in this position.

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