UK Marriage Week is upon us (7th-14th February 2018). The event is coordinated by the Marriage Foundation – a national champion for marriage, supported by charities and individuals who believe that healthy marriages bring benefits for all of society and should be encouraged and supported. The theme for Marriage Week 2018 is “Think Ahead!” and focuses on encouraging couples to plan their future together with the #plan5for5 campaign. This might involve contemplating your shared values, finances, that long-haul trip you have always wanted to take... or perhaps making your wills.
During this week you and your spouse may wish to consider whether you need to make or review your wills. This would be prudent because your wedding may have had an impact on wills you have previously made, whether this was intended or not.
I’m already married
Did you know that the Wills Act 1837 states, with few exceptions, that when you marry or enter into a civil partnership, this automatically revokes any wills that you or your spouse/partner have made before your union? Unless one of the exceptions applies (and we will discuss one of these below) you should consider making a new will now as, without a will, you would be intestate and any wishes you have may not be carried out. You should not assume that your spouse/partner will receive everything in your estate anyway since this depends on a number of factors.
I’m planning on getting married
Making a will “in contemplation of marriage” is an exception to this rule. This means that if you expect to marry a certain named person at the time the will is executed, and you intend your will not to be revoked by your future marriage to that person, then it will not be revoked when you eventually do marry. A clause to this effect should be written into your will.
I’ve been married for a long time
You may have made wills with your spouse/partner a number of years ago. After you have been married or in a civil partnership for a long time it is often desirable, but not essential, to redraft your wills, in order to reflect your current circumstances and take into account changes in the law. We recommend that our clients review their wills at least every 3-5 years so they can check whether their wishes are still the same. Why not use Marriage Week 2018 to talk with your spouse/partner about your wills and see if there are any changes you need to make?
Contact us to receive a quotation for our will drafting services.