A couple have made Wills in contemplation of marriage. Some years later they decide to enter into a civil partnership. As the Wills are expressed to be in contemplation of marriage, are they still valid as a result of the civil partnership?
It seems that the position is unclear.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act (Consequential Provisions) Order 2014/3168 sets out various permutations, but they don’t appear to cover the situation in which N makes a will in anticipation of marrying M but they end up entering into a CP instead.
They can convert their CP to a marriage. My understanding is in that case, the civil partnership comes to an end and the couple are treated as having been married (not CPed) since the date of the original CP. Could this be an option here?
Surely the point of making wills in contemplation/expectation of marriage was to avoid the marriage revoking the will?
So should you not be asking now if the civil partnership could have revoked the will, and only if so would it be worth considering if the “contemplation” clause might have any effect?
I haven’t researched this, but suspect a cheaper option might be for the clients to make new wills - particularly as they appear to be a few years old, and some circumstances have clearly altered.
I suggest that a will in contemplation of marriage does not contemplate entry into a civil partnership, even though the parties might be the same. If that view is correct, then the civil partnership will have revoked the will.
Even if the civil partnership is converted to a marriage, notwithstanding the marriage being deemed to be backdated to the date of the civil partnership, I would be reluctant to suggest this also had the effect of reviving the will revoked upon entry into the civil partnership.
As suggested by Kevin Mullen, the safest (and most cost effective) way forward is probably to make new will(s).
Paul Saunders FCIB TEP
Independent Trust Consultant
Providing support and advice to fellow professionals
Thanks for replies all.
The Wills were made some years ago. The couple a few years later entered into a civil partnership. I agree easiest option was to make new Wills but not possible due to subsequent terminal illness. By the time we were notified of the civil partnership it was too late to change the Will.
I am not 100% clear in my mind whether the original Will is still valid following the civil partnership. Marriages and Civil Partnerships are treated the same for tax purposes only.