Wills After Marriage
This week there has been something in the air, for some that has been love, as several of my friends have become engaged or married – so I thought it would be useful to explain what impact this life event will have on your Estate Plan – especially your Will, and what you need to do next to secure your assets!
Marriage – an exciting step for any couple. Once the stress of planning the wedding and the excitement of the happy day is out the way it’s on with married life. Once you have tied the knot, the next thing you should do is update your Will. Admittedly this may not be the first thing on your mind – go and enjoy your honeymoon, but as soon as you get back…
Once you marry, any previous Will, should you have had one, is automatically invalid with one exception – you wrote it while engaged and specifically referred to your upcoming event. This means that if you don’t make a new Will you will be considered to have died intestate. If that happens, the government will decide who receives your estate and in what shares. If you do not have children, your spouse will inherit everything, which may not be what you want to happen.
If you do have children, your spouse will inherit the first £450,000 and half of everything else, this means if you are worth less than £450,000 at the time of your death your children will not receive anything at all!
Not a problem? My spouse (other half) will pass it on anyway? What if they are children from a previous relationship? What if your partner has their own children? where do you think it is going then?
However, not all couples want to get married, which makes the importance of writing a Will even higher. Unmarried couples that do not write a will, will not inherit anything from each other’s estate. If you die your partner could be made homeless and penniless…