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Legal News | 17.02.22

Love and marriage, love and marriage

When two people get married or enter into a civil partnership, they are rightly busy celebrating and making future plans, but that should not be at the expense of thinking about how their marriage or civil partnership could impact their Wills.

In England and Wales, when you get married or form a civil partnership, any legally valid Will that you have previously executed becomes void (cancelled), unless that Will makes a specific reference to your intended marriage/civil partnership. If you don’t make your Will in ‘contemplation of marriage/civil partnership’ or fail to make a new Will after the big day, the law will decide who inherits after you die.

If you die without a valid Will the rules of intestacy will apply when distributing your estate. If you are married (or in a civil partnership) with children and the value of your estate is under £270,000, then your spouse/civil partner will receive everything. If you are married (or in a civil partnership) with children and your estate is over £270,000, your spouse/civil partner will receive £270,000 together with all of your personal belongings. Any remaining estate will be split 50:50 between your spouse and children. In addition, any property held as joint tenants automatically passes to a surviving spouse/civil partner.

However, this may not be what you want to happen and therefore it is important to make a Will which states your exact wishes.

All love is built on trust?

The recent introduction of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) has resulted in changes to non-taxable trusts. Essentially, this change means that all non-taxable express trusts are now required to register on HMRC’s Trust Registration System (TRS), barring a few exemptions.

The aim of this is to counter money laundering and terrorist-financing by having a system where certain legal ownership structures (like trusts) centrally record beneficial ownership.

While this creates a lot more obligations on trustees, we are here to help. If you are unsure about whether you have a trust, and if this needs to be registered, please get in touch.

If you want to discuss anything in this week’s newsletter, please get in touch with your usual contact at Wansbroughs or email us at wealth@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team