2020 is a leap year and thousands of women across the globe will take the opportunity to propose to their partners. Whilst the romance will pass in the moment the legacy that is left by marriage is long lasting. Finances change, families change, personal circumstances change and although you will be married, none of us can predict what is round the corner.
Here are five practical things to think about after the romance of a leap year proposal:-
1. Assets held before marriage
None of us truly believe, whilst we have our heads in the romance clouds, that things could ever go wrong, but they do. If you are bringing assets to a marriage you should give thought as to whether it is wise for you to prepare a prenuptual agreement before you exchange your vows. Divorces can be costly so, if you are in love, would it really matter if you agreed to leave the relationship with what you came with, even if divorce will never happen, just to be cautious?
2. Make a will
Before you were married your assets were your own and would pass to your parents and siblings if you had not made a will. Upon marriage this all changes. If you do not make a will and you are married at the time of your death the law sets out in rules called the Intestacy Rules who has what. This could mean that your new wife/husband of three weeks inherits your entire estate to the exclusion of your family. A will governs where your assets go on death and can ensure a fair split between your new spouse and your family.
3. Make a new will
If you have made a will before you marry you cannot rely on this will after your wedding day. A marriage revokes an existing will so you will need to update or resign a new will to ensure it is valid after your marriage.
4. What do you do with the kids?
It is likely that after the hangover from the wedding has subsided you could hear the patter of tiny feet. Whether this is the dog or triplets, have you decided what would happen with your children if both you and your spouse died? Think carefully about who you would wish to look after your children in your absence and provide for your children in an appropriate way. Would you want them to live with their guardians, would you want them to stay together, if they inherit from your estate who would you want to look after their inheritance until you considered them old enough to receive it?
5. Get some independent financial advice
Being a married grown up brings responsibility. What happens to your family if you die? Have you stated where any death in service pension from your employer goes? You want to ensure it does not pass into your estate for inheritance tax purposes. Do you have life insurance? Can your spouse continue to pay the mortgage or live your current standard of living if you die? An independent financial adviser can provide advice on the best way to secure your family’s future when you are not here.
For further information, advice and support on these issues contact Kelly or Claire on 01622 843729