How marriage can revoke a will in NSW

In NSW, getting married can revoke a will that you have previously made. This is based on section 12 of the succession act which states that “a marriage revokes a will executed by the testator in relation to any property of which he or she was seised at the time of marriage and which is disposed of by the will.” In other words, if you make a will and subsequently get married, your will is automatically revoked.

But don’t panic just yet. This only applies to property that is disposed of by the will, not everything in the will as a whole. And there are exceptions – for instance, if you specifically stated in your will that it was made in contemplation of marriage, the marriage would not revoke it.

So what does this mean for you? If you are about to get married, or have recently got married, it might be a good idea to review your will and make any necessary updates. Happy marriage planning!

The worst case scenario: Intestacy

If you die without a will, as might be the case if you had a will which was revoked by a marriage, your property will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of NSW. This can lead to some pretty unfortunate consequences, especially if you have a spouse and children. For instance, your spouse may not automatically inherit anything from your estate, and your children may not receive anything until they reach adulthood.

Planning to get married?

So what can you do to avoid this? Update your will! It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. If you’re getting married, or have recently got married, it’s important to review your will and make any necessary updates. The peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order is well worth the cost. Contact us now and see how we can help.

— Falzon Legal