Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

After my mother died my father made a will leaving everything to my brother and me. He remarried several years later, and died two months ago leaving about £100,000 including the house. The solicitor dealing with the estate now says that everything will go to his wife, despite the fact that his will leaves everything to us.

Marriage, or remarriage, automatically cancels an existing will. The result is that your father has died without a valid will, so his estate must be dealt with in accordance with the general law. Under intestacy rules an estate of this value will go to his wife. Anyone marrying or remarrying should bear this in mind and consider making a will “in contemplation of marriage” which will still be valid after the ceremony.

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