Useful Advice

Commitment Ceremonies - other points you might want to consider

We hope that the following points are helpful to you and if you require any more specialist help we are happy to recommend http://www.mysafepassage.co.uk/ on 0800 096 4295, who have kindly supplied this information.

Making a Will

If you have a child, a partner, a property or business then you do NEED a Will. Although you will not be thinking about death or serious injury right now these things do happen and when they do people have generally not prepared their estate for it. More often than not what they would like to happen to their property, money and children is not allowed by law!

The simplest solution to this problem is to make a Will.

In the UK, either you make a Will and let the Government know what you want to do with your things when you die OR they will take control of everything you own and distribute it the way they think is best.

If you make a Will there are very few restrictions on what you can do but if you don’t make a Will the Law says you have died ‘Intestate’. The Government will then dictate what happens.

The Intestacy rules date back to 1925 and are not particularly relevant to today’s society and family structures. If you die Intestate, neither you nor your family will have any control over who gets your money, property and belongings and you will have no control over who gets to look after your minor children.

‘Common Law’

A Commitment ceremony does not have any legal status and a ‘Common Law’ marriage is meaningless as far as the Law is concerned. As co-habitees you have no additional protection unless you make a Will. Without a Will your friends, Charities you support, your co-habitee and any step children will NOT inherit anything at all from you.

If you own a house either alone or together you need to review the type of ownership so it will pass to the person you want it to when you die. Step-children will not inherit at all and even your own children will not necessarily inherit everything unless you make a Will.

Without a Will, if you have children under 18 they will be looked after by the Government until a suitable guardian can be found. No one is automatically given the right to look after them if there is no Will. Without a Will, if your assets exceed the Inheritance Tax limit your estate will pay the full amount of Tax. A Will can prevent this.

Death or Serious Injury in the future

If you were to die that causes one set of problems but what if you are alive but unable to make your own decisions E.g. Incapacity caused by dementia, stroke or other illness or Incapacity by being in a coma after an accident. In either case you are still alive so you have to make decisions about your things, bank accounts, property etc.

You may want to consider making a ‘Lasting power of Attorney’. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

1) Property & Financial Matters

2) Health & Welfare matters

Further information is available from http://www.mysafepassage.co.uk/

Disclaimer

The information produced here is general and for guidance only, you should take individual advice about your own personal circumstances