Weddings and wills – do they go together?

1st February 2019

Whilst most of us don’t wish to think about what life will be like for our loved ones when we die, getting married is a time when we should put making a will firmly at the top of the ‘to do list’.

As a matter of routine, wills should always be put in place, or existing ones reviewed, when you come to significant life events – getting married or separating from a spouse or civil partner are no exceptions to this. Having a valid will in place is the only way to ensure that the assets you have worked hard to own during the course of your ife such as property, businesses, cash and investments, pass on to those people you choose to receive them.

Sadly if someone dies without leaving a valid will, they have no control whatsoever over who gets what. Instead, their assets will be distributed in line with current legal rules which set out strictly how the estate must be divided between their surviving family members. Whilst these rules do benefit married spouses and civil partners, what they will received depends upon whether the person who has died had any children. The way in which assets are distributed under these rules may not therefore necessarily reflect what you would have wanted to happen and can have unintended and unacceptable consequences.

What most people don’t know is that marriage revokes an existing will so it’s something that needs to be considered at the time of your wedding and not a few years down the line when perhaps starting a family. It’s especially important if you are marrying for a second time and have children from a previous relationship, and the provisions you make to benefit your new spouse under your will should always reflect the terms of any pre or post-nuptial agreement that you are entering into.

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