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Implications of marriage on your Will
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Home / Making a Will / Changing your Will / Implications of marriage on your Will

The general rule

As a general rule a will is revoked when the testator marries. Similarly, as a general rule a will is revoked when the testator enters into a civil partnership.

Wills made in contemplation of marriage

Where a will was made after 31 December 1925 but before 1 January 1983 and was expressed to be made in contemplation of a marriage, the will is not revoked when the contemplated marriage is solemnised. For the will not to be revoked a particular marriage must have been contemplated. i.e. the testator must have contemplated marrying a particular person. A will expressed to be merely in contemplation of marriage is not sufficient to avoid the will from being revoked.

Where a will is made on or after 1 January 1982 and is expressed to be in contemplation of marriage to a particular person and where there is a clear intention that the will should not be revoked by the marriage, the will is not revoked when the contemplated marriage is solemnised.

Wills made in contemplation of civil partnership

Where a will is expressed to be in contemplation of a civil partnership to a particular person and where there is a clear intention that the will should not be revoked by the civil partnership, the will is not revoked when the contemplated civil partnership is entered into.

What is the consequence of a will being revoked?

If a will is revoked it is treated as invalid and, therefore, if no further will has been made the deceased’s estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy may result in the deceased’s assets being distributed other than in accordance with his wishes. For this reason most couples are advised to make a new will once they have married or entered into a civil partnership.

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