Facts about Wills and Marital Status

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According to Saga, around 8 million people over the age of 50 are yet to make a Will and there are a number of reasons as to why this task is constantly put at the bottom of our priority list. When it comes to Will writing, marriage is an important factor to consider, yet there are various myths floating around about what you can and cannot do in terms of marital status.

Get clued up about where your Will stands between each stage of marriage:

Wills before Marriage

Both as an individual and in a partnership, making a will is exceptionally important; without this legal agreement in place, your current partner may not be entitled to any of your assets. Unmarried couples and civil partnerships do not have any legal right to a share of their partner’s estate as it will pass under the rules of intestacy (who’s entitled to inherit the estate).

  • This can cause particular problems whereby you are co-habiting and the property is owned by one partner only or held by both partners in specific shares (tenant-in-common).

Wills when Married

If you’re married, you are able to leave the entirety of your estate to your partner in your Will, enabling you to take advantage of the spousal exemption for Inheritance Tax purposes.  If the value of your joint estates does not exceed £650,000 there will be no Inheritance Tax to pay.

Mirror Wills

Mutual Wills are extremely uncommon and married couples usually look to create mirror Wills. This allows for an almost identical copy of the same Will for each person which ensures that the possessions in question are shared out to the same beneficiaries.

Wills following Divorce

If your former spouse is listed as the executor of the Will or if there is gifts listed in your Will, this will usually become void following a divorce. However, we would strongly recommend you to rewrite your Will to ensure your intended beneficiaries benefit from your estate.

Wills and Remarriage

Your remarriage automatically revokes your Will and unless a certain provision has been made within the document, you’ll need to review and create a new Will. This will then enable your estate to be distributed in accordance to your wishes.

It’s never too early to start thinking about what will happen to your belongings when you’re gone. For more information or if you have any questions about Will writing, get in touch with one of our specialist Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Solicitors at Forbes. Call freephone 0800 975 2463 or drop us an email.

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