Should I get married?

Can anyone tell me the plus and minus of getting married?  We live in Scotland, been happily together for 18 years and live in separate houses, which we would continue to do.

Both now in our early 70s.

Apparently his IFA has said it would make tax sense if we tied the knot.

Be interested to hear your comments :)

Comments

  • mebu60
    mebu60 Posts: 804
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    If it ain't broke . . . . . . . . 

    Have you got wills and LPAs in place? There's probably inheritance benefits on the first death to being legally married but presumably you've covered that when wills were done. And if they're not done I'd suggest doing asap. Ditto LPAs if not done (£82 per LPA if DIY through govt website - you will need access to a printer).

    We're 14 years together living separately! Mid 60s :-)  
  • Good to hear from someone in the same boat!   I guess his IFA just wanted to ensure the tax man didn't get lots of money. Yes we both have Wills but no LPAs yet.

      He has no children but I have a grown up son, lives away, so what would happy if we got married and I died first.  Could I make a Will which expressly said my son should get my property?   
  • Hi. Inheritance tax is the main issue. If you're not married, but own assets jointly with another person, the situation gets complicated, especially when a property is involved. Whether or not you have to pay inheritance tax will depend on whether you and your partner own the property as “joint tenants” or “tenants in common”, and whether there's a will (not sure if this is the case in Scotland). If you do an on-line search for "inheritance tax not married" or similar, you will find plenty of on-line articles about this. It also reduces the likelihood of relatives popping up insisting that they have a claim on the estate (as happened to a close friend when her long-term partner passed away unmarried and without a will). Married with wills makes things very much easier for the surviving partner.

    We too were advised to marry (in our 60's and living together for 30 years!). We decided instead to register as Civil Partners. Virtually the same legal status as being married but without the religious connotations, exchanging rings etc.

    Applied on-line with local authority. Was interviewed at a local council office (to make sure we are a genuine couple and not looking to register a marriage of convenience - it felt like being summoned to the Headmasters office!) then a few weeks later went to a local register office to make a declaration and sign the register with two witnesses. In and out in 20 minutes. Then off for a nice meal with our two witnesses. Simple, low stress and inexpensive but not very romantic!

    A few weeks later a nice certificate arrives just like a marriage certificate.

    Do not forget to make new wills (old wills lapse once you marry or register as civil partners).
  • mebu60
    mebu60 Posts: 804
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    Good to hear from someone in the same boat!   I guess his IFA just wanted to ensure the tax man didn't get lots of money. Yes we both have Wills but no LPAs yet.

      He has no children but I have a grown up son, lives away, so what would happy if we got married and I died first.  Could I make a Will which expressly said my son should get my property?   
    Yes! You can leave your property to your son even if you are married. You will need to make new wills after marriage as tying the knot will invalidate the current ones (assuming rules are the same in Scotland as England) unless the existing wills expressly cover off a potential future marriage. If you get married and need new wills, get them drafted beforehand and signed asap after. Literally after if you're going away! 

    And get those LPAs attended to too!! 
  • If either or both of you have assets exceeding £325k and plan to leave a substantial amount of it to the other then yes it makes sen e to marry or become civil partners, otherwise your estate can’t take advantage of spousal exemption so IHT will need to be paid on the first death. 
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,580
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    It might be worth reading this thread on a similar topic from last week
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6483278/what-does-marriage-mean-these-days/p1
  • Thanks to all who contributed.  We both own our own properties separately, nothing jointly.

    If I didn't get married, am I right in thinking that if I leave my son my house in my Will the IHT limit goes up from £325k to £500k?
  • mebu60
    mebu60 Posts: 804
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    Thanks to all who contributed.  We both own our own properties separately, nothing jointly.

    If I didn't get married, am I right in thinking that if I leave my son my house in my Will the IHT limit goes up from £325k to £500k?
    Yes. Assuming the same in Scotland as England. I have done the same. My daughter gets my house. 
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,633
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    Marriage does NOT invalidate a will in Scotland..
  • Thanks to all who contributed.  We both own our own properties separately, nothing jointly.

    If I didn't get married, am I right in thinking that if I leave my son my house in my Will the IHT limit goes up from £325k to £500k?
    Does your partner also have children? If not and he is leaving his estate to you then a large chunk of IHT could be saved by changing your marital status. If he dies first and leaves his estate to a spouse / CP rather than a partner then not only will his whole estate be exempt your estate would also be entitled to claim his unused NRB and you could pass £825k to your some tax free rather than £500k.
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