Marriage invalidating a will
There are however, exceptions to this general rule.
One of them is that if the will is made “in contemplation of marriage”, the marriage will not invalidate the will.
See Estate Planning is More than Just a Will Divorce itself does not cancel your Will, but, in some provinces and territories, divorce or separation will automatically revoke the workplace/employment/company benefits for your former spouse unless your Will states otherwise.
In some provinces and territories, if you have appointed a former spouse as executor, your divorce will revoke or cancel this appointment.
I am told that, to avail of this exception, it would be sensible to have the intention stated expressly in the will although that is not absolutely required under section 85 (2) of the Succession Act.
As a married couple, you can minimize the cost and time to administer your estate by naming each other as beneficiary on your various plans and insurance policies.
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.
A BBC article published on 21 November 2018 highlighted the case of Joan Blass, who was 91 years old and suffering with vascular dementia when she married a man 24 years younger than her, a year before her death.
Joan’s family only learnt of the marriage after she had passed away and, as a consequence of the marriage, the will she had made a couple of years earlier – and importantly before her marriage – was revoked and her new husband had control over her entire estate.
Whether you have already made your Will or are planning to make a Will for the first time when it comes to getting Married few people are aware that in England and Wales the act of Marriage automatically revokes a Last Will & Testament made prior to the Marriage.