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Recently married or divorced - Is your Will still legal?

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Many people don’t realise that the act of marriage causes any existing Will of the husband and wife to be automatically revoked. They should therefore consider as soon as possible after the marriage (or preferably before) whether they need to make a Will or change an existing one. Getting married or divorced are significant steps for anyone to take and can affect the inheritance position of the person involved.

Getting married means taking on new responsibilities and possibly ownership of a matrimonial home and both husband and wife should consider making Wills to provide properly for each other or for any dependent children if one of them should die unexpectedly.

Particular problems can arise during second marriages where one or both parties may have children from previous marriages or relationships. To ensure the interests of all children are looked after it is even more important to make a Will, this can also avoid conflicts between separate sides of the family.

Unfortunately not all marriages last for ever. If a relationship breaks down or there is a divorce, both parties need to consider whether they need to make a new Will to set out clearly what they want to happen to their estates upon death in the light of their changed circumstances.

Provisions in an existing Will to benefit a spouse will be automatically revoked upon a divorce.

It is always best to seek proper legal advice about your Will if you decide to marry, enter into a Civil Partnership or a permanent relationship with another person or if your relationship breaks down which could result in divorce.

For more information or advice about making a Will please visit our Wills, Trusts and Probate page where you can contact a member of our team.

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