Wills in Marriage

Many people have the idea that a Will only needs to be drafted when you’re of old age. However, it is recommended for everyone to have a Will in place. This legal document allows you to decide what is to happen with your estate and assets after your death, and who is to obtain them. If you do not have a Will in place, you will die ‘intestate’, and the rules of intestacy will dictate what is to happen with your estate.

Intestacy laws:

  • Married couples and civil partners are entitled to the first £270,000 of their estate, and up to half of the chattels. This is applicable to couples with children and grandchildren, to which the other half would go. If there are no children involved, your partner would be entitled to the whole of it.
  • If a joint bank account is relevant, this will automatically pass to the other account holder.
  • Children are entitled to the whole of the estate if there is no surviving partner. This would include biological and legally adopted children. However, they would only be entitled to it when they reach the age of 18 or marry/enter into a civil partnership before they become 18.
  • If you are unmarried with no children, your partner would receive nothing and the estate would be distributed to your closest blood relatives. And if there are children involved, your children will be considered priority.

Are you married or in a civil partnership and don’t have a Will?

As opposed to a single Will, which outlines the person wishes of an individual in the event of death, couples can get a mirrored Will drafted. This form of Will is a virtually identical set of documents, where one partner leaves their estate to the other in the event of death. The common misconception is that they are identical, however they can also outline each members personal desires.

Another massive advantage of having a mirror Will in place, is that Inheritance Tax can be avoided. The Nil Rate Inheritance Tax is applicable; therefore, the estate can be transferred from one partner to the other tax free.

Finally, getting a mirrored Will is much more cost effective to get drafted as opposed to single Wills.

If you require further information on a Will or would like to have a Will drafted for you, please do not hesitate to contact our Wills and Probate team at Bond Adams LLP Solicitors. You can contact us on 0116 285 8080 or email us at lawyers@bondadams.com.