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The campaign: change the law which revokes Wills on marriage

It has long been the case that unless you have made your Will in contemplation of marriage, your subsequent marriage will cancel your Will and, the Intestacy Rules would then apply to your estate.


“A growing number of so called “inheritance hunters” are exploiting older and vulnerable people by grooming them, and then marrying them, so they can inherit their assets and disinherit any family members in the process.

Since the issue was highlighted by campaigners last month, more than 70 families have come forward to reveal that they too have been victims of inheritance scams.”


Now, depending on the size of your estate, your spouse would receive the first £270,000 and one half of the rest of the estate, with the balance being split between your children. If you do not have children, your spouse will receive all of your estate.


In recent years, there has been a campaign to change the law to ensure that Wills are not automatically cancelled by a marriage, as this puts vulnerable people being exploited by the unscrupulous who can marry a person for financial gain because sometimes a person may not have capacity to make a Will, but the test for capacity for marriage is lower and, they are therefore deemed to have capacity to marry.


What this means for you?


You do not need to be a vulnerable person to benefit from addressing the issue that your Will is cancelled on marriage.


If you are making a Will prior to an intended marriage, and you have set a date, then you should make your new Will in contemplation of that marriage. If you have not made your Will in contemplation of marriage then the Will would become invalid on your wedding date.


Writing and reviewing your Will


It is important to ensure that your Will remains up-to-date as changes to your family or financial circumstances over the course of just a few years may well have effect on the contents of your Will. Your Will may require amendment or on occasion, you may need to re-write your Will entirely. You should seek help from a legal professional when drafting or reviewing your Will as homemade Wills can create ambiguity and are often a false economy.


If you require any guidance, our experienced team of Probate Solicitors can help. Please do not hesitate to call us on 01530 412167 or fill out a contact form on the website.


See our Probate and Wills services here.






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