Tying the knot – do not wait to make a Will!
It still surprises me how many people think that because they have lived with their partner for two years, or because they are engaged, they have assumed the status of a 'common law spouse' and therefore, if the worst were to happen, their partner would receive their assets. This is simply not true. There is no such a thing as a common law spouse (although there may have been many years ago!) I also find that more couples now have a long engagement whilst they save for a house, their dream wedding, bring up their children or further their careers before actually getting hitched and it worries me that whilst doing this some of them think there is no need to make a Will!
Making a Will would ensure that the survivor was entitled to the assets of their loved one if the worst did happen. If no Will was made then they could see their partner's assets passing to their parents or siblings. This may have not been what was intended but if no Will is made then the law will step in and distribute the assets according to the 'Intestacy Rules'. These rules do provide for children and those that are married (or in civil partnerships) but they do not provide for cohabitants.
So, although I am most excited to see an engagement I will quickly encourage any couple to make a Will as soon as possible. If I do, some may respond - 'we will wait until we are married as marriage will revoke our Will anyway and we do not want to do it twice'. Yes, marriage does revoke a Will, but you can make your Will in contemplation of your marriage – no problem and more importantly, absolutely no need to wait! Then you really can enjoy that honeymoon climbing the Alps / flying to exotic places / trekking through the jungle!