Getting married cancels your Will

Legal clinic round up – February 2018

Every month we hold free legal clinics in Kingsbridge, Totnes and Dartmouth. 

The most popular topics that people want to discuss with us relate to Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.  A particular question that arose this month is what happens to my Will if I get married or divorced. 

When you marry, unless you have made your existing Will in anticipation or contemplation of the marriage any previous Will is automatically cancelled and is no longer valid.  If you do not make a new Will, then when you die the law of intestacy decides how your assets are divided.

Unlike marriage, divorce does not automatically revoke your Will. Instead, if you divorce, your Will takes effect as if your former spouse had died on the date that the divorce is finalised. It means that any gift that you made to them in your Will does not take effect.If you still want to benefit your former spouse in your Will, you would need to expressly state this, or you need to make a new Will.