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  Solicitors Bude Cornwall   Getting Married? Make a Will. - 01 Feb 2010 Holsworthy Solicitors

For those of you who are getting married soon, best wishes for your marriage.
  You are making significant emotional and legal commitments to each other and it is important to think about all aspects of your future together. It is easy and normal to ignore the legal aspects.

You may have made a pre nuptial agreement and you may later consider a post nuptial agreement - both of these documents now have more significance in English law than previously.

This article is not however aimed particularly at those minority of people who have a marriage ending in divorce but mainly for those for whom “death do us part”. Probably the last thing you are considering at present is to make a Will but if you don’t do it now when will you get around to it? A pre nuptial agreement does not replace a Will.

You should make a Will as soon as possible. If you have made a Will before marriage then this Will is revoked by a lawful marriage. The only circumstance in which the Will is not revoked by marriage is if the Will was particularly prepared “in contemplation of” this particular marriage and the Will states that this is the case. You should not try to prepare a Will of this type yourself.

If you are engaged to be married, recently married or cohabiting but have a house or other assets together then again you should make a Will as soon as possible. If you have children then in your Will you should appoint guardians for your minor children in the event of your death and make provision for their maintenance until they can fend for themselves.

I recommend that you see a Solicitor to help you to make your Will. If you are worried about the cost then ask when you make the appointment and you will be informed. It will probably be the best value legal service that you will ever receive. Some people prepare Wills themselves and some may use a Will writing Company. If you are considering either of these routes I suggest you ask yourself why you would want to have anyone other than a qualified Solicitor to prepare your Will. The skill in preparing a Will is not that of having a set of Will Precedents and the ability to use a word processor, although your Solicitor and secretary will certainly have those skills. The real skill is in obtaining important information from you and having the high level legal qualifications and specialist knowledge and experience to advise what is best for you and your beneficiaries and to prepare a suitable Will. It is equally important to ensure that the Will fits in with all your other documentation.

Mitigation of Inheritance Tax and of long term care fees and fitting in with your other documentation are also important when you make a Will. A Solicitor is fully qualified to deal with all these things.

This may not be your first marriage. Providing for the varying needs of all potential beneficiaries and perhaps protecting the capital that you introduced to the marriage while keeping faith with your new spouse may seem impossible. It can be achieved with experienced advice and the right decisions on your part.

Mitigation of Inheritance Tax and long term care fees are important factors as well as making provision for your spouse, children or other intended beneficiaries.

Many people delay making a will because they have not yet made full decisions about any aspect of their Will.

However every week for over 30 years I have been consulted by clients who are not sure about what they want. In our meeting you will be helped to make these decisions but will not be pressurised. You will not find it difficult and will soon have a Will which satisfies your needs.

A Will can usually be amended at any time by a person who has legal capacity and it is important to review your Will at least every 5 years and more frequently if you have or expect changes in your circumstances.

Paul Finn
Director, Paul Finn Solicitors
Tel: 01288 356 256
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