For better or worse: How does your marriage or divorce affect your Will?


Generally, a Will is revoked by the marriage of a testator (the person that makes a Will).
The most common exception to this is where a Will is expressed to be in contemplation of marriage. The solemnisation of a marriage after the Will is made does not revoke the Will. Further, a disposition made to the person to whom the testator is married at the time of his or her death is not revoked by the marriage of the testator.
If a Will is made in contemplation of a particular marriage, the Will is not revoked by the solemnisation of that marriage concerned whether or not that contemplation is expressed in the Will. However, the generally accepted practice is to be clear about your intentions in the Will and make an express provision in relation to the marriage contemplated.


When it comes to a divorce, the Will of the testator is not revoked automatically.
However, a beneficial disposition to the testator’s former spouse made by a Will in existence at the time of the divorce or annulment is revoked.
Further, an appointment of the testator’s former spouse as an executor, trustee or guardian by made by the Will is revoked and a grant made by the Will of a power of appointment exercisable by the testator’s former spouse is revoked.
The revocation in the circumstances above does not apply if a contrary intention appears in the Will.
If a disposition, appointment or grant is revoked by the operation of the Act then the Will takes effect as if the testator’s former spouse had died before the testator.
It should be noted that the right of the former spouse to make an application for family provision is not affected by the operation of the revocation.

Contact the team at Conditsis Lawyers to update your Will today to ensure your current testamentary intentions are reflected in your Will.

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