PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT
A recent Supreme Court ruling now means that Pre-nuptial agreements – agreements which set out a couple’s divorce settlement before they have even married – will have full legal status in England for the first time in history.
Pre-nuptial agreements have long held great influence in the American divorce courts as well as courts in European countries such as France and Germany. However, until now, such agreements were only one of the factors that the English divorce courts would consider when dividing up the matrimonial assets upon divorce.
However, in the case of Radmacher v Granatino, some of the country’s most senior Law Lords have held that Pre-nuptial agreements now have “decisive or compelling weight” in Ancillary Relief (ie divorce finances) proceedings. The Supreme...
Changes to the Intestacy Laws
There is a very common misconception that if a couple are married and one of them should die then the surviving spouse will inherit everything. This is often not the case.
If a person dies without leaving a Will, then the Rules of Intestacy will apply.
For married couples, the general rule is that, if the deceased had children, then the surviving spouse will receive the deceased’s personal belongings, the first £125,000 of the estate and a “life interest” in half of the rest of the deceased’s estate. A “life interest” effectively means that the survivor will have use of the assets but will not own them. The other half will immediately pass to any children of the deceased and those children will also receiving the half which is subject to the life interest once the surviving spouse...