319 in england and wales section 18 of the aja has

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3.19 In England and Wales, section 18 of the AJA has substituted the following provisions for the provisions previously applying there under section 18 of the Wills Act 1837– "18. (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4) below, a will shall be revoked by the testator's marriage. (2) A disposition in a will in exercise of a power of appointment shall take effect notwithstanding the testator's subsequent marriage unless the property so appointed would in default of appointment pass to his personal representatives. (3) Where it appears from a will that at the time it was made the testator was expecting to be married to a particular person and that he intended that the will should not be revoked by the marriage, the will shall not be revoked by his marriage to that person. (4) Where it appears from a will that at the time it was made the testator was expecting to be married to a particular person and that he intended that a disposition in the will should not be revoked by his marriage to that person, – (a) that disposition shall take effect notwithstanding the marriage; and (b) any other disposition in the will shall take effect also, unless it appears from the will that the testator intended the disposition to be revoked by the marriage. 18A. (1) Where, after a testator has made a will, a decree of a court dissolves or annuls his marriage or declares it void, – 19
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(a) the will shall take effect as if any appointment of the former spouse as an executor or as the executor and trustee of the will were omitted; and (b) any devise or bequest to the former spouse shall lapse, except in so far as a contrary intention appears by the will. (2) Subsection (1)(b) above is without prejudice to any right of the former spouse to apply for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. (3) Where – (a) by the terms of a will an interest in remainder is subject to a life interest; and (b) the life interest lapses by virtue of subsection (1)(b) above, the interest in remainder shall be treated as if it had not been subject to the life interest and, if it was contingent upon the termination of the life interest, as if it had not been so contingent." 3.20 The new section 18 of the Wills Act seeks to correct the frequently harsh revocation of a will by subsequent marriage where the will was made in contemplation of that marriage yet did not match up to the stringent requirements which found their final expression in the judgment of Megarry J in Re Coleman [1975] 1 All ER 675. In this case Megarry J held that whilst a gift to a named person described as "my fiancee" is a gift expressed to be made in contemplation of marriage, the will as a whole (as opposed to merely some gift in it) was not expressed to be made in contemplation of a marriage. Accordingly it was held that the will was revoked by the subsequent marriage, so the gift to the fiancee failed. The new provision goes on to protect particular dispositions not intended to be revoked by the marriage where the will as a whole is not so intended.
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