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Does getting married affect my Will?

I am due to get married in a few months' time. I have a Will that leaves my estate to my children. My friend has told me that after my wedding I need to make a new Will. Is this true?

You may be surprised to hear that, in England and Wales, a marriage or civil partnership will cancel a Will. Therefore, after your wedding, the Will you currently have would be revoked or cancelled and would be invalid.

This would leave you without a Will and your estate would be dealt with under the rules of intestacy. The intestacy rules are set out by the government and say who is entitled to your estate. Under the rules, your new spouse would inherit part of or the whole of your estate, depending on its size.  This could cause problems as it could mean that a valuable asset such as your property could be jointly owned by your spouse and your children. 

In order to state where your assets are to go, you will have to create and sign a new Will on a date after the date of the marriage or republish your old Will by making a Codicil. 

The only other way a Will can remain valid after a marriage takes place is if it is made in contemplation of marriage. The Will will need to contain a clause that states it is made in anticipation of your upcoming marriage and that it should not be invalidated when that marriage occurs.

If you would like to speak to someone about how marriage can affect your Will or to discuss setting up a Will, contact us today on 023 92 296296 to speak to one of our specialists.

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