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- Married/Civil Partnership
You've tied the knot and a happy lifetime together lies ahead. Perhaps the first thing on your mind is to find that dream home and arrange a mortgage. If you haven't already named each other in your Wills, it's vitally important to reflect your commitment to each other by bringing your Wills up to date. Similarly, it pays to expect the unexpected by each of you establishing Powers of Attorney agreements.
As your wealth increases over the years, tax mitigation becomes increasingly important - taking steps to reduce potential Inheritance Tax liabilities, for example, or making tax efficient provisions for members of your extended family if you don't plan to have children. If you are thinking about starting a family, however, then it's never too early in your married life to start planning ahead for school and university fees.
Taking our 360 Lifestage Review is the best way to discover what you should be thinking about at your stage of life. Alternatively, click on any button below to find out exactly why particular services could be important to you as a married couple or civil partnership.
- Q1 Why it's so important to specify your wishes in a Will
- Just because you're married or in a formalised civil partnership, you can't assume that your spouse or partner will automatically inherit everything when you die
- Without a Will specifying otherwise, personal assets such as a second property would go first to your children and then to other members of your family rather than to your spouse or partner
- Recording your wishes in a Will allows you to make specific provision for other dependants rather than just your spouse or partner. If you own your parent's house, for example, you could ensure lifelong security of tenure for them even though your spouse or partner might inherit ownership of the property if you were to die first
- If you die without formalising your wishes in a Will, your children would inherit at the age of 16. Could you have handled that amount of cash and responsibility when you were that age?
- It is also important to remember to revise your Wills with the birth of every child or any previous versions could be declared invalid
- You can also use a Will to protect the interests of your side of the family. After all, would you like your in-laws to inherit your part of the estate and leave your own family members with nothing if you were to die first?
- Q2 Why you should be thinking about establishing a Power of Attorney
- You may want and expect your spouse or civil partner to look after your financial affairs and personal wellbeing if you were no longer able to do so yourself, but without giving them legal authority in a Power of Attorney agreement, he or she would have no right to act on your behalf whatsoever
- Powers of Attorney are straightforward legal documents that allow each of you to act on the other's behalf in such circumstances - if one of you were involved in an accident or suddenly struck down by a serious illness, for example, or if it becomes necessary to spend lengthy periods away on business
- Without valid Powers of Attorney agreements in place, gaining authority to act on behalf of your spouse or partner after the event could involve a long and costly court application which might take months to settle
- For a small one-off payment, a Power of Attorney is like an insurance policy - you hope you'll never need it, but you'll be grateful you've got it if you ever do!
- Q3 Thinking about buying a property?
- Before you buy, it's important to seek legal advice to get a clearer picture on your individual occupancy rights as a married couple or civil partnership
- By compiling a Minute of Agreement with the help of a solicitor, you can state in writing if one of you has paid the larger part of the deposit to avoid unnecessary argument if you decide to sell, especially in the event of separation or divorce
- Q4 Property to sell?
- You may be thinking about putting your main property on the market to move to something bigger or perhaps to downsize - either way, why not take advantage of our top property team's proven track record for efficient sales at the best possible price?
- If you are selling a second home or investment property, don't make a move without talking to one of our experts about minimising any tax you may have to pay
- Q5 Have you got a property to let?
- Whether you have a spare property to let out or you've invested on a buy to let basis, we can help you allocate your rental income in the most tax efficient way
- We can also explain and help you protect your rights as a landlord
- Perhaps you don’t have the time to manage the property yourself? As full service letting agents we can save you the trouble and hassle of the day-to-day involvement
- Letting out a property gives you the flexibility to move back in at any time or, perhaps, to provide somewhere to live for your children. This is subject to the terms of the lease you have agreed with your tenant, but we can help if you want access to the property quickly and need to break the lease early
- Q6 Are you giving too much of your money away to the taxman?
- Now's the time to get specialist advice to make sure you're making the most of the tax breaks and reliefs available to you as a married couple or civil partnership
- Such advice can also help you decide how best to combine and reorganise your individual assets to make sure you pay as little tax as possible between you
- For peace of mind, talking to a tax specialist will help clarify your legal position as a married couple or civil partnership in relation to such complex areas as Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax liabilities
- Q7 Building a life together means planning ahead for a secure financial future
- It's never too early in a marriage or civil partnership to start exploring the many different financial arrangements that could help ensure the long term security you are both hoping for in years to come
- You should also get specialist advice on how best to combine and reorganise your individual assets to make sure you pay as little tax as possible between you
- Do you each have protection policies in place to safeguard your income contribution if you were made redundant or couldn't work due to prolonged illness?
- If you have children, what is the best way to plan for their education or deposit for their first property?