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Happy Valentines Day!

View profile for Sue Howard
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If you have said “I WILL!” read on...

It’s a romantic time of year and tying the knot whether by marriage or civil partnership is exciting. Lots of fun things to plan and good times ahead. 

But don’t forget that legally there are very important consequences to marriage/civil partnership. It’s a good time to take a look at your finances and decide how you will plan for your future. What this means to you will depend on your individual circumstances - whether this is your first relationship, whether you own a property together or in your own name, whether you have children and so on. 

IMPORTANT FACT - not everyone knows this but getting married/civil partnered completely CANCELS your existing will unless it contains very specific wording. With no will in place a deceased person’s assets are distributed according to the law of “Intestacy” which is pretty rigid and definitely not tailored to individual circumstances. 

What would this mean in practical terms? Let’s consider a couple of examples. 

Jules and Jim get married. Jim made a will several years ago providing for his kids by a previous relationship. This will is now cancelled by his marriage. So on Jim’s death everything goes to Jules if Jim’s assets are less than £270,000  with nothing for Jim’s children. The children would have to take court action for a chance to receive anything at all. Not what anyone would have planned. 

George and Mildred were married for 50 years. They made wills leaving everything to each other, then for their children and grandchildren on the second death. Sadly George died a few years ago. Mildred has happily found love again and has just married Tony.  But Mildred has forgotten to make a new will. If Mildred dies then under intestacy laws everything would go to Tony, or her children might share a fraction of her assets if they are more than £270,000. There would be nothing at all for her grandchildren. 

How do you protect against such mishaps? A little bit of planning can make a big difference. Include will making in your financial planning. See a solicitor- we’re fully regulated, we’re impartial and we will advise what’s best for you. 

It’s easy to sort out.  Give Talbots a call on 0800 118 1500.  One of our specialist Trusts and Estates team would love  to hear from you and to check to see if your existing will is sufficient, or to advise if new wills are needed. Don’t worry if you can’t find the original document - a copy will do.