Planning your wedding? Don’t forget to talk about death!
Written by Cindy-Marie Leicester on October 31, 2016.
Weddings can be a complicated affair and the planning of them often forces couples to have many a candid conversation with their loved ones. Does the family black sheep really have to be invited? Who will be the unfortunate person who has to sit next to inappropriate Uncle Timmy? Is it ok to have a ‘no kids’ policy? Are five bridesmaids too many?
And yet despite the fact that all these questions are discussed at length, there is one really important question which should be talked about before a couple get hitched but often isn’t: the question of what happens when one of them dies.
Of course, marriage is about a new beginning, a blank sheet upon which to build a lifetime of partnership and memories. Couples usually spend the pre-wedding period surfing on a wave of optimism and looking forward to a life of wedded bliss. Who wants to put the dampeners on it by thinking about their future husband or wife dying?
And yet it is of the utmost importance to consider this question. Sadly, for some couples the happily-ever-after dream ends in tragedy. Take British honeymooner, David Bulmer-Rizzi, who died in Adelaide, Australia in January 2016 after falling down a staircase and cracking his skull in a horrific freak accident which no-one could have predicted.
Unfortunately random events like this do sometimes occur early on in a marriage and when they do the remaining partner is left having to deal with a newly created joint estate. This is never a pleasant task but if couples have never discussed how they would like their assets to be distributed then it is infinitely more difficult and distressing. Getting married automatically invalidates any pre-existing wills and in the absence of a new will, an estate is subject to intestacy laws. It is possible for fiancés to make a will declaring that it is made in anticipation of an upcoming marriage and that it should not be invalidated once the marriage has taken place and you should consider doing this.
As morbid as it may seem, if you are getting married, while you are planning your exciting future together you need to ensure that future includes a plan for what happens when one of you inevitably dies. Hopefully that will be far in the future after you’ve celebrated your golden wedding anniversary but none of us can ever know.
Cindy-Marie Leicester provides will writing services as a third party professional adviser and Infinity Financial Solutions Ltd takes no responsibility for the goods and services provided by any third party to whom clients are referred.
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