13 Jun 2011


Most unromantic present could be most important – say lawyers

Lawyers, Moore Blatch are advising couples to add a Will to their wedding list. The firm admits it’s possibly the most unromantic gift that anyone could give, but potentially the most important.

The marriage vows for many people explicitly contain the words ‘till death us do part’, but completely understandably most newlyweds are focussed on the here and now, and most couples wrongly assume if their partner dies they get everything.

Under the intestacy laws, if a married or civil partnership spouse dies without a Will and they don’t have children, their partner gets the first £450,000 of the estate plus half of the remainder, with the rest distributed to the deceased’s parents, brothers/sisters, nephews/nieces – only if there are none, would the partner get 100%.

If the couple has children, the surviving spouse only gets the first £250,000, with the remainder going to the deceased’s children, half of which, the surviving spouse gets a life time interest in.

Carla Brown, senior solicitor from Moore Blatch commented: “Whilst we appreciate that this isn’t the most romantic of wedding gifts, a Will should be an essential part of married life. Couples must consider what could happen to them financially if the unthinkable happened. Many people believe that by getting married, the spouse is entitled to everything, whereas you may find that a niece or nephew that you have possibly never met could be a beneficiary. ”

Moore Blatch recommends a Will for a wedding gift as intestacy rules don’t cover:

• 100% transfer of assets to the partner

• Appointment of guardians for children

• Provision for children to inherit assets after the age of 18

• Inheritance Tax planning

• Provision for gifting money or items to friends or charities

In addition, it is also important to realise that if a Will is in place before getting married, the marriage will revoke it unless it was made specifically in contemplation of marriage.


Moore Blatch Carla Brown 01590 625816

Votive Communications Vaughan Andrewartha 020 7353 9277

About Moore Blatch

Moore Blatch is one of Hampshire’s leading law firms with offices based in Southampton, Lymington, Milford-on-Sea and Richmond. They provide a full legal service for the private client, including divorce and family matters, conveyancing, wills and probate, and trust and tax planning, as well as one of the largest dedicated commercial and corporate departments in the area. They are endorsed as a leading firm by both Chambers and the Legal 500, and are listed as a ‘law firm to watch’ in the Rising 50.

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