Congratulations on your marriage
Recently married couples and couples who have recently entered into a civil partnership are strongly advised to write a Will if they haven’t already done so. Making a Will in contemplation of your marriage is important, but there can be complex considerations. Seeking expert advice could prove vital to ensure everything is taken care of. Contact our friendly team to speak to one of our experienced Will & Estate Planning Consultants about what you can do to secure your family’s future.
Mirror Wills for Married Couples
Mirror Wills are a popular solution when both parties want the same out of their Wills. These are separate but highly similar, leaving the estate to the same beneficiaries. Mirror Wills are individual Wills, and can be changed or revoked at any time – you do not need your partner’s permission to make changes to your Mirror Will.
Writing a Mirror Will protects you and your partner’s financial future, particularly in situations where you are not automatically entitled to inherit the estate (e.g. if you are not married or in a civil partnership). The Mirror Will approach can ensure you or your partner will not be left without a home or financial security – an all too common occurrence where a person dies intestate. Careful planning for the future will ensure everything is taken care of, giving you peace of mind.
For more information, see our guide to Mirror Wills.
Marriage & Your Inheritance
Making a Will is a reliable way to ensure that a partner is provided for, and any children you may have. Any Will created before a marriage or civil partnership is automatically revoked by that marriage or civil partnership, unless the Will is made “in contemplation” of the marriage. One of the benefits of being married or in a civil partnership is that couples can leave everything to one partner and be exempt from inheritance tax. The surviving spouse can avoid inheritance tax up to a value of £650,000 this is double the usual threshold of £325,000, as a spouse can transfer any remaining inheritance tax threshold to the other.
In April 2017 the residential nil rate band came into effect. Speak to one of our Trust & Estate Planning Consultants about how this affects you.
Trusts for Asset Protection
An Asset Protection Trust is a Trust which allows a person to transfer assets into Trust immediately rather than planning for a transfer on death. This type of Trust is designed to protect assets for future beneficiaries and to ensure that the assets ultimately pass to the chosen beneficiaries. This arrangement will suit a married person with children from a previous relationship. Because the assets are held in a Trust, they are not held within your distributable estate on your death, which means that the costs of probate may be reduced and any delay in dealing with the Trust assets could be avoided.
This also means that the distribution of the Trust assets cannot be influenced by events on your death as you have already ring-fenced the assets for your chosen beneficiaries. You will also have appointed trustees you can rely on to ensure the distribution takes place as, and when, you would want it to. Call us to learn more about how creating a Trust can benefit you and your loved ones. You may also find our pages on Trust Wills and Trusts useful if you want to read more about our Trusts services.