Marriage invalidating a will

The general rule was extended after the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which puts same-sex couples who register their partnerships in the same position as married couples in relation to succession.

There is a statutory exemption from revocation by marriage for same-sex couples who convert their civil partnership into marriage (section 18D Wills Act 1837).

This means that If such a clause is added and written correctly, partners who are wanting to make Wills leaving their estate to each other but are planning to get Married can plan ahead and ensure that their Wills remain valid.

If no such clause exists then the Will is automatically revoked upon Marriage and should the person pass away their estate would be dealt with in line with the laws of intestacy In Scottish Law the act of Marriage does not automatically revoke a Last Will & Testament made prior to Marriage.

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We now wonder if in the event that we marry, will our existing wills remain valid or could they be subject to challenge? The relevant legislation is section 85 (1) of the 1965 Succession Act.

Ironically, while marriage does revoke wills made before that point, divorce does not.

Therefore, a will made while married will continue to have legal force even following a divorce unless you specifically act to draw up a new will. Apparently if the wills were drawn up with the knowledge and intention that they were to apply following the marriage (or civil partnership).

If you want your ex-spouse to be your executor, talk to your legal advisor about updating your Will to say so.

My partner of three years and I are both in our early 60s. We each have two adult children and we are both of independent means. Our current wills specify that our respective children will share our respective estates 50/50.

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