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August is the most popular month of the year for weddings. It could be something to do with the anticipation of fine weather, or the fact that it coincides with school summer holidays or the ease with which people can get time off work.
Whatever the reason, an August weekend is the top choice for brides and grooms tying the knot. Harpers Bazaar, which ran the survey on wedding dates, anticipates 100,000 proposals over Christmas, so if you want to marry next summer, think ahead because Saturday, August 18 2018 is shaping up to be next year’s most popular wedding day.
There’s always so much to do with a wedding – planning the ceremony, organising the reception, choosing outfits and making sure you don’t end up with three toasters. With so many things to remember, it’s easy to overlook an important element for two people looking forward to spending their lives together.
At such a time, the bride and groom are understandably anticipating a long and happy marriage. But what if something happens to one of them?
Lucy Atwill, who heads the Wills and Probates department of Whiteford Curtis Crocker Solicitors in Plymouth, says it’s crucially important that making a will isn’t overlooked in all the excitement of planning a wedding.
Lucy describes her role at CWC Solicitors as “60% legal work and 40% social work”, making sure that client’s needs are met. Making a will is important because a marriage automatically revokes any pre-existing will under Section 18 of the Wills Act 1837. Under a separate section of the same Act entering into a civil partnership also revokes a will.
Many people would be surprised to discover that what happens if someone dies “intestate” – without a Will – applies if you marry and haven’t updated your Will or don’t have one. With most estates, the spouse would receive up to £250,000 with the remainder divided between the spouse and any children.
If there are no children to consider, the spouse will receive up to £450,000 with the rest going to siblings.
Even the simplest domestic situation can mean estates aren’t distributed as you would have wanted and this is further complicated when there are children from previous relationships and specific bequests to be made.
There is, however, an exception to The Wills Act 1837 – a “contemplation of marriage” clause stating that an existing Will shall not be revoked by marriage to a named person.
“When we make the vow to love and cherish ‘until death us do part’, people aren’t considering that as a possibility,” says Lucy.
“It’s obviously important, whatever your circumstances, to ensure that your wills are up to date when you marry, so that your wishes can be carried out. Anyone who is concerned should seek legal advice,” she says. “It’s wise to be prepared for the worst on the best day of your life.”

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