Post-Nuptial Agreements

9th March 2010
Post-Nuptial Agreements image

Post-Nuptial Agreements

In our article on Pre-Nuptial Agreements of July last year we reported a Court of Appeal decision which may serve to increase the possibility of Pre-Nuptial Agreements being enforced by the Courts on subsequent divorce/dissolution of civil partnership of the parties.

Pre-Nuptial contracts are agreements couples enter into before marriage/civil partnership in an attempt to agree how assets should be divided in the event of their divorce/dissolution of civil partnership.

Post-Nuptial Agreements are agreements parties enter into after their marriage/civil partnership governing future arrangements for their marriage/civil partnership.

The decision of MacLeod v MacLeod [2009] 1 FLR 641 makes it clear that there is nothing to prevent a married couple from entering into financial arrangements governing their life together by entering into a Deed governing their future rights in the event that the marriage should fail.  Presumably therefore by the same token the Courts would adopt the same approach for partners in a civil partnership.

The MacLeod case concerned a couple who entered into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before their marriage and then a Post-Nuptial Agreement after their marriage confirming that they still intended to be bound by the Pre-Nuptial Agreement subject to certain variations.

Whilst this area of law is by no means certain there is a clear move towards the English Courts allowing couples to make their own decisions regarding the division of assets on separation.

For more information contact Anita Toal of our Family Team.

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills image

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills

Recent headlines have reported how banks are now cashing in on Wills.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, banks offered customers low cost Wills (or sometimes even free Wills) but the small print allowed the bank to charge extortionate rates to act as Executors. It is reported that banks are expecting billions of pounds of revenue from their Will writing services and administering estates and in some cases their fees have been over £12,000 to administer an estate as they look to charge a fixed fee PLUS a percentage of the deceased’s wealth.

If you or a loved one has made a Will through a bank we would urge you to check who you have appointed as Executors and check any small print which you may have signed. If you are unsure then please speak with one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate team who can look at your existing Will with you. It may be appropriate to make a new Will which revokes any previous Will you have made which could save your family thousands of pounds when your estate needs to be administered.

In the majority of cases, when someone has passed away we can provide the family with a quote of how much the legal fees will be so that there are no nasty surprises once the administration is complete.

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