This weekend millions of people are expected to tune in to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Less than 50% of those watching are likely to have made a Will. Those who have made a Will may not be aware that their marriage or civil partnership could have rendered their Will void.
If you do not have a Will, or if your Will has been “revoked” by your marriage or civil partnership, your assets (apart from those that pass automatically to a joint owner or are held in certain types of trust) will pass in accordance with “the rules of intestacy”.
The intestacy rules mean that if you do not have any children, your spouse or civil partner will receive all of your assets. If you have children, then your spouse or civil partner will receive the first £250,000 of your assets and your personal possessions. The remainder will be divided as to 50% for your spouse or civil partner and 50% between your children. If you are unmarried or have not entered into a civil partnership, your assets could pass to your parents or siblings or more distant relations and without a Will cannot pass to your partner.
It is possible to word your Will in such a way that it is not “revoked” by your marriage or civil partnership. This is a good option if you are in a long-term relationship or if you are engaged. If you are planning to marry or have already married, or if you do not have a will, now is a good time to review your current Will or make one.