While all eyes are on Prince Harry and his bride this weekend, you can be sure there are advisers making sure their estate affairs are in order.
Why? Because their marriage changes everything, in terms of estate planning. We’ll talk you through it!
Gifts to loved ones
If either of them were to die without a Will, their UK estate would be dealt with according to the Intestacy Rules. That means, everything would go to the surviving spouse. If they have children, then £250,000.00, all their personal possessions and half of the remaining estate go to the surviving spouse. The other half of the remaining estate is split equally between the children.
We’ve seen from their wedding planning that Harry and Meghan take their charitable responsibilities seriously, so they may well choose to leave legacies in their Will. Without a Will, they would have to rely on their surviving spouse making a gift in their memory. It is much better to have it dealt with in the Will, so the surviving spouse is not worried about which charities the other would have wished to help.
It’s a big question and a personal one, but so important to address it when planning for the future. If Harry and Meghan have children, their Wills are the place to specify who they trust to look after these children should the need arise. In her Will, Princess Diana appointed her mother and brother as guardians of the young Princes in the event they might be left without parents before turning 18.
Meghan will require specialist estate planning advice because she is likely to have possessions and money in more than one jurisdiction. She was born in California, lived and worked in Canada, but has now chosen to live here and seek UK citizenship. She may own assets which cannot be dealt with under a UK will, and there are certainly inheritance tax considerations too.