The deceased married his second wife Margaret on 7 June 2000 three days before he died. They had known each other since 1994 and had lived in a domestic relationship since 1996.
She applied for the grant of probate of a will made by the deceased on 27 January 1999. The Will left the whole of his estate to Margaret who he described as “his de facto spouse”. He made no provision in the Will for his adult children.
The Court accepted evidence from a number of sources that the deceased did not want his children to benefit from his Will as he believed that they only wanted him when there was something to be got from him. He had taken steps to have no contact with his children; as a consequence his children had not visited him. As he loved Margaret he wanted her to inherit his entire estate.
As previously posted a person’s will is revoked by that person’s subsequent marriage unless it is made in contemplation of a marriage.https://heirsandsuccesses.com/2015/09/08/revocation-by-marriage/ The Court had to decide if the deceased’s will of 27 January 1999 was made in contemplation of a marriage to Margaret, on 7 June 2000.
If the will was not made in contemplation of such a marriage, the deceased died intestate. On Intestacy the deceased’s estate would be split according to a legislated formula between Margaret and the deceased’s children.
The Court did not accept Margret’s evidence that she accepted the deceased’s proposal of marriage in 1994. She gave several contradictory statements as to why they were not married until 2000. Evidence from the deceased’s solicitor indicated that Margaret had not agreed to marry the deceased at the time he made his will in January 1999. In his instructions the solicitor noted that the deceased told him that he was “Not to marry so no will in contemplation of marriage. Will to her”.
The Court held that the deceased’s will was revoked by his marriage on 7 June 2000. Therefore the deceased died intestate and his estate was distributed according to the legislated formula with the Court finding that three of the children of the deceased may receive inadequate provision for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life under this formula.