Getting married is a significant life event, but what many people may not realise is how it can impact their existing will.
In most cases, tying the knot renders a previously drafted will null and void.
However, there is a crucial exception to this rule: making a will in contemplation of marriage.
So, what exactly does this mean for you and your estate planning?
Understanding the importance of a valid will
A valid will not only ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes but also enables you to structure your affairs in the most efficient way possible.
Without a will, the distribution of your estate is determined by the inflexible Rules of Intestacy.
This often results in a predetermined order of inheritance, potentially leaving your loved ones with a lot less than you intended.
Crafting a will in contemplation of marriage
To prevent your will from becoming void upon marriage, it is essential to meet specific requirements.
These include explicitly stating your intent to marry and ensuring that the will is not revoked by the marriage. The person you plan to marry should be named in the will, and the marriage should take place within a reasonable timeframe after the will is created.
How a will can safeguard your family’s future
A will becomes particularly crucial if you have children from a previous relationship or are part of a blended family.
It can safeguard your assets from being redirected to unintended beneficiaries or future spouses, ensuring that your children receive what you intended for them.
Moreover, it allows you to establish a life interest for your spouse, securing their future while also protecting your share of the estate from being depleted for potential care needs.
Why regular will reviews are essential
Life is dynamic, and so are your circumstances. Therefore, it is vital to review your will periodically, especially in the face of major life changes like marriage, the birth of a child, or any significant shifts in your assets.
Regular check-ins, at least every five years, can guarantee that your will reflects your current wishes and circumstances accurately.
Secure your legacy, plan today
A will is not just a legal document; it is a legacy you leave behind for your loved ones. By ensuring your affairs are in order and your intentions are clear, you can provide for your family and even support causes that are meaningful to you.
To discuss your estate planning needs our Wills, Trusts and Probate Team will be happy to help. Contact our experts on 01772 799 600.