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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

12 October 2022

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.

Need advice on making a Will or estate planning in Bristol or beyond? Click the button and I’ll call you back within 48 hours.

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Maplebrook Will Writing Bristol is a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW).

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