How will marriage and divorce affect my Will?
Marriage and civil partnership
An existing Will is automatically revoked when the testator marries or enters into a civil partnership, unless the Will is made ‘in expectation of marriage or civil partnership’. This means that, before your marriage or civil partnership takes place, you can make a Will that expressly includes a clause stating that the Will is made in expectation of the marriage or civil partnership.
If a Will is not made ‘in expectation of marriage or civil partnership’, you are advised to make a new Will as soon as possible afterwards. If you marry or enter into a civil partnership, you need to make a Will to avoid dying intestate . To use our simple mirror Will for spouses and civil partners, click here
The law is unequivocal about the effects of marriage or civil partnership, divorce, dissolution and re-marriage on an existing Will, or a future Will.
Joint accounts held in banks or buildings societies are owned ‘jointly and severally’, which means that when one party dies, the other inherits the whole of the account(s).
If you do not have a Will, should you die before a separation or divorce proceedings are finalised, your spouse or civil partner will still inherit under the rules of intestacy.
Create a will now to to protect your immediate interests.
Divorce does not revoke a Will. It does, however, revoke any gift to a former spouse made under the Will, although any gift left to your spouse under the Will is not rendered void until the divorce absolute is granted. Until then, he or she remains your spouse and is entitled to the gift, in accordance with you Will.
If you are separated and contemplating, or going through, divorce proceedings and you do not wish your spouse to benefit from your Will, therefore, should you die before a divorce is finalised, you should review your existing Will and make a new one. To use our simple Will to protect your immediate interests click here
The grant of divorce absolute will also revoke the appointment of the ex-spouse as executor.
Dissolution of civil partnership:
Under the Civil Partnership Act, 2004, dissolution of a civil partnership has the same effect on an existing Will, of either party, as divorce.