Does getting married affect your Will?
Posted on 5th October 2019
When you are getting married, there is so much to try and remember to do. Have you got the caterer sorted? Have all the bridesmaids or groomsmen got their outfits? Have you got the perfect shoes sorted? The list goes on and on. So why not check something off the list sooner rather than later?
Under Section 18 of the Wills Act 1987, getting married will revoke any former Will a person has made, their estate automatically reverting to everything passing to your new spouse. However, with the assistance of your local solicitors for Wills, MG Legal, you can make a Will in contemplation of marriage, which will stay valid regardless or you saying ‘I do’ on your special day.
The clause that our Wills solicitors would generally include in your Will, sets out the name of your future spouse and the anticipated date of your marriage.
The ‘in contemplation of marriage’ clause will be effective, provided that the following terms are met: the testator (person making the Will) must be expecting to marry or form a civil partnership with a specific person at the time the Will is signed. Unfortunately, you cannot just make a general Will in anticipation of the fact that you may marry in the future, as the case of Re Coleman (Deceased)  1 All ER 675 decided.
In Re Coleman, the testator had made specific bequests to his fiancée, Mrs Jeffrey, who he later married, and the Court held that the use of the word fiancée was normally sufficient to express contemplation of marriage to that person.
The second term which must be met is that it must be clear from the wording in the Will that the Testator did not intend for their Will to be revoked following their marriage or civil partnership.
Our Probate solicitors would explain that its not enough just to include a provision about marriage in general – the Will shall be revoked if the person who the Testator marries is not specifically named.
So, whilst this clause can be useful if you are making a Will just before you get married, it is important to consider whether it is worth waiting until your big day has passed. That way, there is no confusion about whether you wished for the Will to remain valid following your marriage.
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