Wedding dress (check), invitations (check), caterer (check), Wills (oh!)…
For the estimated 230,000 of us set to tie the knot in 2018 (myself included!), producing new Wills is unlikely to feature high up on the wedding-planning agenda.
Don’t click back to pictures of wedding favours and tiers of cake just yet…considering your Will might be more important than you think.
“But my fiancé and I have already made Wills so can get back to choosing the perfect yellow centrepieces”.
Not just yet! You might be surprised to learn that from the happy moment you sign the marriage register, your current Will is automatically revoked unless you have planned ahead.
Bet you weren’t expecting that!
Couples can avoid this unintended consequence by preparing Wills ‘in contemplation of marriage’. If a Will is made in contemplation of marriage (or civil partnership), it will still be effective after the ceremony has taken place.
To make your intentions clear, your Will should clearly state:
- The name of your future spouse or civil partner;
- That you do not intend the Will to be revoked by your marriage or civil partnership; and
- Whether or not the Will should continue even if the marriage never takes place.
It is not essential to have set a date for the marriage or civil partnership when making the Will but the ceremony should take place in the near-future. If left too long it could later be argued that the Will was not in fact made in contemplation of marriage. For example, if a Will is made 25 years before the wedding takes place it is unlikely to survive the wedding. On the other hand, a Will making provision for a future wife was found not to have been revoked when the marriage took place 3 years later.
“My fiancé and I have been too busy sourcing the perfect English grown flowers so haven’t had time to make Wills”
If the worst happens and you die without making a Will, or your previous Will is revoked on marriage, your estate will be shared amongst your relations under set rules, known as the intestacy rules. It is unlikely that the intestacy rules will result in your estate being distributed as you would have wanted.
An additional reason for making a Will, if you have children, is that it gives you an opportunity to put guardianship arrangements in place, to make sure the children are secure even if you are no longer there to look after them.
With the venue booked, invitations sent and table plans negotiated, spare a little thought for your Will. To discuss making a Will, including Wills in contemplation of marriage, please contact Hannah Baker on 01892 506 057 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.