Thursday, 6 November 2014

Hodge Jones & Allen: Civil Partnership into Marriage – what about my Will?

A will is a very necessary precaution for a marriage or civil partnership. It is important to plan ahead and think about the future. Who will cater for your children? Who will get your prized possessions? Who will get the dog? (If you have one).

The law is constantly evolving and planning ahead is crucial! Not many people are aware that marriage can revoke an existing will! In 2004, the Civil Partnership Act saw that a civil partnership could also revoke an existing will. However not to worry, if you have already made a will in contemplation of your marriage or civil partnership then you are covered according to the Wills Act 1837.

Now here is where it gets interesting. You may ask what impact does the MSSCA 2013 have on existing wills?

A new piece of legislation, The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received royal assent on 17 July 2013 and comes into force on 10 December 2014. Under the law of England and Wales, civil partnerships will be able to be converted into marriages. This sparked debate amongst practitioners as it was unclear whether the conversion to a marriage would revoke any existing wills the couples had in place.

Luckily, Section 11 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 provides that certain ‘private legal instruments’ are not affected by a same sex marriage and the first such ‘private legal instrument’ referred to is an existing Will.  

So the answer is no you will not have to make a new Will if you convert your Civil Partnership into full marriage under the new Act.

The law is constantly evolving, so remember to review your wills.

Yousafa Hazara
Hodge Jones & Allen                    
Tel. 020 7874 8300    

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