Wills & Marriage Q & A

We took part in #SolicitorChat on Twitter this morning which was all about Wills and Marriage.

Some of the answers we gave are set out below:

How does getting married or entering into a civil partnership affect your will?

Getting married / entering into a civil partnership will completely revoke any Will you have previously made unless the Will was specifically made “in contemplation” of that marriage or civil partnership. The intestacy rules will then apply to your estate.

What are the intestacy rules and how do they work?

Intestacy rules are the laws which say who inherits if someone dies without a Will. The beneficiaries of your estate will vary depending on whether you are married, have children or who your closest relatives are.

What does it mean to make a will ‘in contemplation of marriage’?

Marriage or civil partnership revokes a Will. But if a Will is made “in contemplation” of your wedding (usually stating the ceremony date) then the Will is not revoked on that date. Without doing this your old Will is no longer valid regardless of what you want.

Does getting a divorce impact your will?

Unlike getting married, getting divorced does not revoke your Will. But once you have a Decree Absolute then the Will is read as if your ex-spouse had died before you and so they will not inherit. You should review your Will as soon as you separate from your spouse.

How can a solicitor help couples to make a will?

A Solicitor can help couples review their assets, do some estate planning and make appropriate Wills. If you are planning to get married (or enter a Civil Partnership) then see your Solicitor beforehand. You should review your Will every few years anyway.

If you want advice about estate planning or making a Will whether you are married, cohabiting or neither, then contact our specialist solicitor, Carolyn, on the details below.

Carolyn Snellgrove

Nelson Myatt Solicitors LLP

01492 588200


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