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Does your Will survive your Civil Union? - August 2010

Does your Will survive your Civil Union?

There has long been a presumption under the law that a Will made prior to a marriage would be revoked if the Will-maker later married, unless the Will was specifically made in contemplation of marriage.

The Wills Act 2007 means that in some situations a Will made prior to a civil union may also be revoked if the Will-maker later enters into a civil union. The relevant date in determining the validity of a Will signed prior to the civil union of a Will-maker is the date the Will was signed. Wills made on or after 1 November 2007 will be revoked if the Will-maker subsequently enters into a civil union unless specifically made in contemplation of that civil union. Wills made before 1 November 2007 will remain valid if the will-maker subsequently enters into a civil union. Regardless of the date of the Will, the Will is still always revoked if the Will-maker subsequently gets married, unless it is made in contemplation of marriage.

This may also have implications for a will-maker exercising powers that they may hold in terms of a trust and so will-makers in this situation also need to consider this aspect.

We consider that all of our clients, regardless of their particular circumstances, should make sure that their Wills are up to date and reflect their current wishes and situation. Please contact Tony Walker (ph: 303 9916) or Sarah Edmondson (ph: 303 9915) should you have any queries relating to this article.

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