How Marriage Affects Your Estate

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APS Legal & Associates

In the UK
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Although it is a few weeks since the celebration of the royal wedding now, many of us throughout the UK have been thinking about marriage. Some of us in the estate planning sector may have even thought about how marriage has an impact on our wills and estates.

Whether we are just married, planning our weddings now or have been married for several years, one of the last things we think about is our wills at such an exciting time. But, how important is a will when we change our marital status and do we really need to review our estates and our wishes at this point?

When you marry, even if you have previously made a will, it is now revoked (automatically cancelled), unless provision is made in the will contemplating the marriage. Although the Law of Intestacy (dying without a will) states that your spouse will inherit a certain amount of assets, if you have children your estate may not necessarily be divided the way in which you intended. A will can therefore ensure your estate goes to beneficiaries of YOUR choice.

There are many other threats to your estate that can be mitigate by a professionally drafted will, ensuring that assets do not fall into the wrong hands and at the same time protecting assets for your spouse and dependants and ensuring inheritance at the appropriate time.

Special consideration should also go into providing for minor children (under 18 years of age). Guardians should be appointed, otherwise the children will become wards of court of Social Services and they will decide who is going look after them. This area can become quite complex, especially if you don’t have the specialist knowledge – for example, looking at who holds parental responsibility and whether certain agreements also need to be drawn up if needed.

With DIY will packs now available, where does the professional fit in?

Having a professionally written will in place means that clients can, not only appoint executors, trustees and guardians for children allowing them to state what they would like to happen to their estate after passing away, but it also means they can discuss their main concerns with an expert in the field.

59% of UK adults have not yet written a will and this could be due to people thinking that they don’t have enough to give away due to a lack of understanding, or just putting it to the back of their minds as this isn’t a subject that people want to talk about. This suggests that there is a need for more professional will writers in the UK who can offer a simple and flexible structure for clients. With 5.5 trillion due to pass between generations in the next 30 years, maybe now is the time to introduce a new business proposition.

So why choose APS?

APS Legal & Associates is one of the most widely recognised and trusted brands in the will writing and estate planning profession. Not only do we have the backing of SimplyBiz, a large company offering support to over 10,000 financial advisers, but we also adhere to the Institute of Professional Will Writers’ trading standards approved code of practice allowing us to act with regulation in mind and enabling a professional service for clients.

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