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The rise of the Silver-Nup

Sarah Nash, Solicitor and Head of Astle Paterson’s Wills and Probate Department discusses a new type of pre-nuptial agreement is gaining popularity with couples who have met later on in life.

Sarah explained “A so-called ‘Silver Nup’ can help couples ensure their assets pass to their children from their first marriage.

The number of probate disputes heard in the High Court is on the rise as families have become more complex and second marriages more common.   More often than not, these claims are brought by the step-children of the deceased who have been disinherited under the Will.

Many people do not appreciate that marriage will automatically revoke a previously made Will unless the Will expressly states it has been made in specific contemplation of the marriage.

Without a valid Will, the application of the Intestacy Rules can have dire consequences, not only for the surviving spouse, but also for the children of the deceased.

Couples are usually keen to leave everything to the surviving partner on the first death, but this brings the risk that the survivor will make a new Will excluding the deceased’s children, benefiting the survivor’s own children or even the survivor’s new partner.”

Sarah continued “To counter this, an increasing number of older people, who are planning to remarry, are seeking advice about pre-nuptial agreements to protect their assets for their children.   Whilst such agreements are not legally-binding, they are gaining increasing recognition in the divorce courts.

The ‘Silver Nup’ can also deal with a couple’s agreement about the distribution of their assets on death and sit alongside carefully drafted Wills.

Solicitors will usually advise couples who have been married previously to consider a flexibly worded Will which can strike a balance between providing for the survivor’s financial needs and protecting assets for their deceased’s own children.

How to strike this balance is often the worry, particularly where a person’s home is concerned and, understandably, people want to ensure that the step-children cannot pressurise the survivor to sell the property or require them to pay rent.

A well drafted Will can protect the survivor’s occupation and provide controlled access to income and capital from other assets in the estate through the use of a Trust.”

“Should you be considering entering into a second marriage, engaging a Solicitor to help you put in place a pre-nuptial agreement and new Will is money well spent when compared with the potential costs of a protracted and emotionally damaging family dispute” Sarah concluded.

At Astle Paterson we have Solicitors specialising in both pre-nuptial agreements and complex Wills.   Please contact Astle Paterson’s Wills & Probate department direct on 01283 743969 or by way of email to snash@astlepaterson.co.uk to learn more.

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