I do .... revoke my existing Will

It is a little known fact that when you get married, any Will you may have executed before this momentous occasion is automatically revoked.  Many clients and colleagues are ususally very surprised by this fact.

The idea behind it is that the Testator's (the person making the Will) spouse stands a better chance of inheriting under the Rules of Intestacy than under a Will which might have been made before the parties had even met.

The date that the Will was made is very important because the consequences of that marriage could be very different.  If the Will was made before 1983 then that Will would automatically be revoked by any subsequent marriage.

However, any Wills made after 1st January 1983 will not be automatically revoked by marriage if at the time the Will was made:-

  • the Testator was expecting to marry a particular person, and
  • they did not intend to revoke their Will by the subsequent marriage to that person

This can easily be incorporated into a Will to ensure that the Will is not revoked by the Testator's intended marriage.

It may also be of interest that following a divorce a Will is still valid but is read as if the former spouse had died at the date of the decree absolute, and so any gifts to the former spouse will fail and any appointment as executor will not take effect.

So the moral of the story is to just be aware that those two little words on that special day could have more of an effect on your future than you had anticipated.

For more detailed advice on Wills, please contact Michelle Parry at our Shrewsbury office on 01743 285888 or michellep@terry-jones.co.uk


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