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Should I wait until I get married to make a Will?

Wedding day of a couple who didn't make a Will before getting married
SUBJECT: Wills
AUTHOR: Graham Southorn

There’s no need to put off making a Will until you get married – indeed it’s far better to do it before.

Why is that?

The idea that it’s better to tie the knot first is probably based on a misunderstanding about the way Wills work.

It’s perfectly legal and acceptable to insert a line in your Will that says you intend to marry your partner. Indeed there’s even a name for it – “contemplation of marriage”.

With the contemplation of marriage wording inserted, your Will remains valid after you get married or become civil partners.

The misconception might come from the fact that your Will would not be valid if you don’t have this wording. That’s because a marriage or civil partnership automatically revokes a Will without one.

The law on Wills being revoked by marriage dates all the way back to the Wills Act of 1837 (Section 18 if you’re interested) and remains in force today. Since that time, civil partners have been given the same legal rights.

Will you really get round to it?

The second reason not to put off making a Will now is human nature.

We know what it’s like when you get married. If you go the whole hog, you’ll spend months booking the venue, organising the invitations, finding rings, arranging fittings for dresses and morning suits, and choosing the bridesmaids and the best man.

Then there’s flowers, music, food and all the other small but vital things that go into making a wedding a truly special occasion.

And in the midst of all of this, will you really get round to making a Will?

If you’re honest with yourself, probably not. But the risk is that one of you dies before the big day. And if that happens, the rigid rules of intestacy would apply.

Your children, if you have any, would inherit everything. And that would be a particularly difficult situation if they are minors, since they wouldn’t inherit until they are 18.

If you don’t have children, your assets would go to other blood relatives and your spouse-to-be would get nothing.

So it’s best to make a Will now, while you’re thinking about it. It won’t take long – request a callback and we’ll get it done for you.

For further information, download free factsheets on Wills, Trusts, Inheritance Tax, Lasting Power of Attorney and more.

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The information contained in these articles is for general interest purposes only. We take every precaution to ensure that the information is correct at the time of publishing but errors can occur. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the information. Bristol Wills & Estate Planning Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for any results obtained from the use of this information. You should never rely on the information in these articles as a substitute for professional legal advice, whether from Bristol Wills & Estate Planning or any other legal service or professional.

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