Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at Windsor Castle on the 19th of May 2018. Almost one year on, in the early hours of the 6th May 2019 the couple welcomed baby boy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, into the family.
The marriage of Prince Henry of Wales to American Actress, Meghan Markle, marked many historical changes for the royal family in 2018. Meghan is a divorcee and the first black woman to marry into the royal family - something that would have been unthinkable decades ago. Having given birth to the first half-American, mixed-race royal baby in close succession to the throne, the family-of-three are continuing to break traditions and lead the way towards a more modern monarchy. Not only have they decided against giving their baby a royal title, the couple has also chosen to double-barrel his surname to honour his great-grandfather, Prince Philip - something that we haven’t seen in the royal family before now.
As well as breaking traditions, the birth of Archie also highlights the ever-changing dynamic of family structures and the importance of planning ahead. As one of the UK’s leading estate administration providers, we are seeing a substantial increase in the changing patterns of family life with more blended families, cohabitating couples and people emigrating overseas. These changes, along with other significant life events, such as birth or marriage, can significantly impact your wishes after you pass away. They can also influence the estate administration process by making it more problematic, especially if you do not have a valid Will to outline your wishes.
Research shows that only one in four adults (26%) with children aged 4 years and under reported that they have a Will. If you do not have a Will, your estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. Under these rules, your spouse or civil partner would not automatically receive all of the estate if you have any children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Your spouse or civil partner would receive the first £250,000 of your estate and then half of everything remaining above this amount. The other half would be distributed evenly to your offspring.
Regardless of your age, wealth or status, it’s important to remember the value of having a Will and updating it regularly. An intestate estate can lead to your assets being distributed in a way that does not reflect your wishes and may cause unwanted family disputes at an already difficult time. Planning for your future and ensuring your wishes are heard will help eliminate any unnecessary stress for those you leave behind. At Kings Court Trust, we always recommend instructing a professional estate administration provider to help remove the strain of handling a loved one’s estate, allowing your family the time and space to move on.
For more information on Wills, estate administration or how Kings Court Trust can help, call our Client Services Team on 0300 303 9000 for free guidance and advice.