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The impact of marriage on wills

Marriage is a significant life event that can have far-reaching implications for a person’s estate planning. A will is a legal document that outlines how…

Marriage is a significant life event that can have far-reaching implications for a person’s estate planning. A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets should be distributed after they pass away, and marriage can have a significant impact on the contents and validity of a will.

One of the most significant impacts of marriage on wills is the revocation of a previous will. In most states, when a person gets married, any previous will they had is automatically revoked. This means that any instructions or distributions outlined in a previous will are no longer valid, and the person must create a new will to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Without a valid will, the distribution of a person’s assets will be determined by the laws of the state in which they reside, which may not align with their wishes.

Marriage can also affect the distribution of assets outlined in a will. In many states, if a person dies without a will (intestate), their assets will be distributed to their spouse and children. However, if a person has a will in place, they can specify exactly how they want their assets to be distributed, including to other family members, friends, or charitable organisations. This flexibility in distribution is particularly important for individuals who have children from previous relationships or have assets that they would like to pass on to specific beneficiaries.

Additionally, marriage can also impact the designation of beneficiaries. A will allows a person to specify who they want to receive certain assets or property, such as a house or car. When a person gets married, they may want to update their will to include their spouse as a beneficiary, or to specify that certain assets should go to their spouse, rather than other family members or beneficiaries. This is particularly important for individuals who have a prenuptial agreement or have assets that they would like to pass on to specific beneficiaries.

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Lastly, marriage can also affect the appointment of executors and trustees. An executor is responsible for carrying out the instructions in a will and distributing assets, while a trustee is responsible for managing assets on behalf of a beneficiary. A person may want to update their will to include their spouse as an executor or trustee, or to specify who they want to take on these roles in the event of their passing. This is particularly important for individuals who have a prenuptial agreement or assets that they would like to pass on to specific beneficiaries.

 

Emmanuel Ngobidi wrote via [email protected]

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