What is the effect of marriage on a will?

Date: Mar 13, 2013
Document Type: Article

There are a number of times in your life when you should review your will to make sure that it will give effect to your intentions in relation to your property and estate. 

One of these events is when you get married.

 Section 12 of the New South Wales Succession Act provides as follows:

“(1) A will is revoked by the marriage of a testator.

(2)   Despite subsection (1), the following are not revoked by the marriage of the testator:

(a)     a disposition to the person to whom the testator is married at the time of his or her death,

(b)        an appointment as executor, trustee, advisory trustee or guardian of the person to whom the testator is married at the time of his or her death,

(c)        a will made in the exercise of a power of appointment if the property in relation to which the appointment is exercised would not pass to the executor, administrator or NSW Trustee and Guardian if the power of appointment was not exercised.

(3)   A will made in contemplation of a particular marriage, whether or not that contemplation is expressed in the will, is not revoked by the solemnisation of the marriage concerned.

(4)   A will that is expressed to be made in contemplation of marriage generally is not revoked by the solemnisation of a marriage of the testator.”

 As can be seen from the above, the rule can be complex in its operation. 

There is very good reason to consult with a lawyer about estate planning and about your will should any major event occur in your life – marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, going into business, going out of business, the death of a person close to you, what happens when someone leaves you property or intends to leave you property in their will, the acquisition of a major asset etc.

Phone us on 8268 4000 for assistance with Wills and Estates.

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