The effect of marriage on your Will

Are you newly married? Congratulations! However, you may not be aware that the Will that you signed before you got married is probably no longer valid.

Under New Zealand law, the general rule is that a person’s Will is automatically revoked upon marriage.


If you are married and your Will was made before your marriage took place, you need to check with us whether you need to sign a new Will.


If you are getting married in the near future and currently have a Will, it will be valid up until the date of your marriage. To ensure your Will remains valid after your marriage it needs a specific provision to ensure it remains valid after you marry. We recommend updating your Will so it includes a provision stating it is made in contemplation of your marriage. If a Will is made in contemplation of your marriage, it will remain in force after the date of your marriage.


Wills are an important personal document which express what you want to happen to your assets and personal belongings after you die. The consequence of not having a valid Will at the date of your death is that you will have died intestate. This means that your estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy.


Ensuring your Will is updated either before or after your marriage, will remove the possibility of imposing additional stress on your loved ones at a time where emotions already run high.


If you think that your Will has been revoked because of your marriage, please contact us so we can update your Will and ensure you have the final say over your assets. If you are getting married in the near future, updating your Will will ensure you can relax on your honeymoon knowing that your personal affairs are up to date, should the unexpected happen.

Author

Kelly-Ann Barr

Trusts & Estates - Solicitor

+64 3 339 5622

Kelly-Ann.Barr@cavell.co.nz

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Level 3, BNZ Centre
111 Cashel Mall
Christchurch 8011

PO Box 799
Christchurch 8140

Telephone: +64 3 379 9940

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