The legal stuff …

Our friends at Elegance Bridal Studio, Eastgate, Barnsley, asked us to give a little information on the Law and what you need to know before and after your special day.

Yawn ….

We hear you say ….

It’s much more fun picking your dream dress!

Yes, we totally agree – but there are a few things you ought to know …


Weddings/Civil Ceremonies Abroad – What legal documents do I need?

The required documents vary between countries and these will be explained to you at the time of booking with your travel agent or wedding planner. Sometimes you will need to send paperwork to resort in advance of your arrival, in other locations you must take this with you; it really does depend on your chosen location. The absolute minimum requirements of documents that you will need are:


  • Your passports (10 year and valid for at least 6 months after your return to the UK)
  • Your birth certificates (Full length birth certificates)
  • If you have previously been married you will also need to provide legal evidence of your single status, such as a decree absolute (sometimes you are required to provide your previous marriage certificate too).
  • On rare occasions, a Statutory Declaration is needed which is a legal document produced on our letterhead and certified by us confirming you are free to marry. If your travel agent or wedding organiser insists you need this, please get in touch and we would be happy to assist you in providing this.
  • If applicable, adoption and/or deed poll certificates.


However, please be aware that it is ultimately the couple’s responsibility to ensure that all paperwork is fully prepared within the correct timescales. Your travel agent will not accept any responsibility if these documents are not produced on time.


Wills & Powers of Attorney – Plan for the future …

When planning a marriage the last item you will have on your list of ‘to do’s’ is to check your Wills but it is very important that you do. People are unaware that the majority of Wills will be automatically revoked by marriage.

If you are hearing wedding bells, check that your Wills were made in expectation of marriage or if you haven’t got round to it but have already said your vows, then book in an appointment to update your Wills. This applies even if you do not wish to change the content, you should still arrange an appointment to re-sign your Wills in order for them to be valid.

Wills are important things to keep updated; MKB suggest doing a check every few years to ensure that your Wills reflect your circumstances. This is of particular relevance if you have children or step-children in your lives.

Everyone wants the best for their child and this needs to extend to what would happen in the event of both parents being no longer around. In your Wills you can appoint guardians to look after your children should something happen to the both of you. You may also wish to stipulate how old your children must be to inherit. Under English law this age is a minimum of 18 years.

Prior to this, the money needs to be held in trust until they attain that age. However, many parents believe that 18 is not old enough for a child to fully appreciate significant sums and therefore prefer to set an age higher than this of either 21 or 25.

Another common pitfall that can get missed or forgotten is that step-children are not automatically entitled. It can be common for Wills to be worded to inherit any children at the date of death; however this will not include step-children. Therefore, if step-children are or do become involved in your family it is important to seek legal advice on the best course of action for your Wills.

MKB Solicitors LLP specialise in Wills and Probate matters. If you have any questions or queries upon the matters raised in this article then please do not hesitate to get in touch. They offer a free half an hour consultation so that even if you wish to have the reassurance that everything is in order then they are on hand to help.

If you have not yet got around to making Wills, if you mention that this is a referral from Elegance Bridal MKB Solicitors LLP will also give you a further 15% discount on the normal price of Wills.

Because we know how much weddings cost these days … mention Elegance Bridal when you call MKB Solicitors to make your Will and we’ll give you 15% off our standard fee

Pre-Nuptual /Civil Partnership Agreement

Please note that, as yet, these type of agreements are not binding in law, but the case law is increasingly saying that it is a document that the Courts will give  weight to when deciding how to deal with assets following the breakdown of a marriage/civil partnership.

It is a helpful tool in establishing what is pre-matrimonial property or matrimonial property i.e. acquired during a marriage and, therefore, how it is fair to divide that property up should separation occur.

Something Old, Something New?

If you’re looking to start your life together with a new home. We are here to ensure that your journey from viewing to moving in is as smooth as possible – our aim is to get you the keys to your new home quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

We will, from the outset, be realistic with you about the timescales, but we will endeavour to work to the dates you require.  We offer a personal service and appreciate that buying a home can be a stressful time.  We will keep you updated as much as possible and explain things to you in plain English.

Unlike many Solicitors’ firms, we are on all Bank and Building Society Panels and are therefore able to act in relation to all instructions involving mortgage lending.

We would be happy to provide a fixed fee quotation to ensure that you are aware of all costs from the outset.

Be careful with Supplier Contracts – A marriage certificate isn’t the only thing you’ll be asked to sign …

The run up to any wedding can be stressful and time consuming. The last thing that you want to have to worry about is the services that you receive along the way. However, if the level of service that you expect to receive does not materialise, or you are asked to make an unexpected payment, then MKB can help.

Whenever you agree to take goods and services from a business at an agreed price you are entering into a contract. That is true whether the contract is written or verbal, formal or informal. The effect of the contract is that the business is obliged to supply the goods and services and you are required to make the agreed payment. However, making assumptions is dangerous and formally agreeing payment terms in advance of your special day is vital.

Whilst it’s true that nothing needs to be written down for a binding contract to exist, we would always recommend that you have something written down.

For help and advice regarding your terms and conditions or if you have suffered a substandard service please contact Glyn Staves who can provide you with quality legal advice to achieve the best possible outcome. We advise our clients at all stages of your dispute and employ the dispute resolution methods that afford them the greatest certainty of cost, timing and results

At MKB Solicitors LLP we have specialists in all these areas who can help with the legal issues relating to your special day and the future you are planning together.

Take a look at our website for more information and give our friendly team a call on 01226 210000



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