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  • Writer's pictureMiGem

"Love and Marriage".....and separation and divorce

Marital Status and How It Affects Wills


Engaged


If you are engaged or planning to get married to your current partner at some time in the future, you may wish to include a contemplation of marriage clause. If somebody gets married or enters into a civil partnership without a contemplation of marriage clause in their will, the will is automatically revoked, and you would die intestate if they failed to make another will after the marriage or civil partnership. For a contemplation of marriage clause to be effective it must name the specific person to which the testator intends to get married and therefore it cannot just be a general clause for a testator who is currently single but hopes to meet someone to marry in the future.



Recently Married


If you have recently got married since you last made a will, it is good practice to check your previous wills for a contemplation of marriage clause to ensure the wills are still valid. You should also review the previous wills to ensure that they still reflect your wishes now that you are married.



Separated


If you have separated from your spouse but are not yet divorced, you may want to update your will to remove your spouse or reduce their share of the estate. If you haven’t got a will, you should understand that if anything happened to you before you finalised a divorce, your estate would be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules which are weighted in a spouse’s favour and this may not be what you would want now that you are separated.



Divorced


A divorce doesn’t revoke a will in its entirety, but it is interpreted as if the spouse has pre- deceased you, so any reference to the spouse within the will is not valid. A contemplation of divorce clause can be entered in a Will if you are going through a divorce or is likely to once your Will has been signed, and you would still wish for anything you have left to your spouse in your Will to be effective after the divorce is finalised.





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