Where there’s a will, there’s a way

5th September 2019

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

We may not like talking about death but it’s the ultimate eventuality and preparing for the future by making a Will is an essential part of life planning.

That’s particularly the case in today’s society, where family life is changing from the traditional ‘mum, dad and two kids living under one roof’ to more complex arrangements involving co-habitation, second and same sex marriages and civil partnerships, and stepchildren.

And the importance of formally deciding who should receive your assets after your death is further increased for those serving in the military, many of whom may have lived overseas and may have especially unconventional familial arrangements.

As society has changed and families have diversified, the law has struggled to keep pace.

For example, there are now more than 3.3 million unmarried couples living together in the UK who could be at severe financial risk should one partner die without leaving a Will.

A survey carried out last year by family law group Resolution found that two-thirds of cohabiting couples wrongly believed “common-law marriage” laws exist, protecting them in the case of there being no Will – formally known as intestate.

However, cohabiting partners who were neither married nor in a civil partnership can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy, meaning it is possible to live with someone for decades and have no right to their estate, including their pension.

The number of cohabiting couples has more than doubled from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017 and is the fastest growing family type.

That increase has prompted a coalition of organisations, including the Bar Council, the Law Society, Resolution, Relate and Rights of Women, to urge the Government to provide proper legal protection to those living outside of wedlock.

What is the effect of marriage or divorce on a Will?

When you marry, any existing Will is automatically cancelled. If you don’t make a new one, then when you die the law of intestacy decides how your assets are divided.

Should you divorce, your Will is still valid but any gift to your former spouse takes effect as if he or she had died on the date your decree became absolute.

If you had left everything to him or her, without any substitute provisions, the rules of intestacy once again decide how your estate is distributed.

If you would like to make a Will or a have any questions regarding your existing will and its validity, contact Nicola Weldon on nicola.weldon@gotelee.co.uk or call 01394 445168.

Nicola Weldon
Partner
Practice Areas
Court of Protection
Power of Attorney
Probate
Trusts and Tax
Blog Posts

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – FAQS

06/04/2020

As part of its package to support employers, businesses and employees during the COVID-19…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Supply Chain Supper Club – February 2020

05/02/2020

This event is invite only. If you would like to receive an invite, please…

Read More
News Posts

Gotelee’s Covid-19 Risk Assessment

29/07/2020

Please click here to read Gotelee’s Covid-19 Risk Assessment    

Read More

Testimonials

"I would like to say thank you for your help, support and guidance over the last two and a half years. Obviously should I need further assistance in the future I shall not hesitate to call you guys."

-

"“ This is the second time we have used Tracey for the conveyancing to buy our new home. She is always completely approachable, she has helped us along the way with advice and useful tips that has helped lessen the stress. We have complete confidence in her and would not hesitate to recommend her to our friends and family”.  - Peter Dawes, Cater Dawes Financial Planning "

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Jade made the process of buying our first home quick, easy and took the stress out of a new chapter of our lives"

-

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.