Is your will wedding-proof?

The summer wedding and civil partnership season is now in full swing and thousands of couples will tie the knot this year, for better or for worse.

The summer wedding and civil partnership season is now in full swing and thousands of couples will tie the knot this year, for better or for worse. Whilst there are 1001 tasks to remember when planning a wedding, careful consideration should be given to your Will upon the event of your marriage.

Marriage automatically revokes any Will that you have. If you do not then make a new Will, upon death the Intestacy provisions would apply to dictate how your estate is distributed and these may not accord with your wishes.

It is however possible to update your Will before marriage, and with suitable wording the Will is not then revoked upon the exchange of vows.

An increasingly popular means of protecting assets is a pre-nuptial agreement. These agreements are now generally upheld by the Courts unless deemed to be very unfair, and can offer protection if one individual is bringing greater wealth to the partnership than the other. Pre-nuptials are often used for second marriages.

Most couples marrying this year will receive gifts from friends and relatives in celebration of the marriage. Gifting money in lifetime is also a useful method of estate planning. Upon marriage there are several permitted gifts that have no Inheritance tax consequences, including £5,000 from each parent to their child, £2,500 from a grand-parent or great-grandparent and £1,000 from any other individual. The gift must be made either on or shortly before the date of marriage.

Weightmans can offer expert legal advice on the above issues.

*all references to marriage also apply to civil partnerships.

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