Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Marriage after will

Is it true that marriage invalidates any will written before the date of the marriage. Specifically in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

Asked on 9/08/06, 2:41 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Marriage after will

No, why would it? Assuming that a spouse was also a named beneficiary in a will which predated the marriage of the testator(the will maker) and this beneficiary, some of the asset distributions might be altered by the marriage, but I know of no reason as to why the will itself would necessarily be invalidated by the fact of the marriage.

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9/08/06, 2:52 pm
James Wilson James H. Wilson, Jr., Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Marriage after will

You should consult with a Virginia attorney to discuss the application of the law to the facts of your particular situation. The following is general legal information on the revocation of a will by marriage, divorce or annulment in Virginia.

A former section of the Virginia Code, Section 64-58, which was repealed in 1956, provided for revocation of a will by marriage as follows:

“Every will made by a man or woman shall be revoked by his or her marriage, except a will made in exercise of a power of appointment, when the estate thereby appointed would not, in default of such appointment, pass to his or her heir, personal representative or next of kin.”

As repealed, this code section is no longer the law in Virginia.

Virginia does provide that divorce or annulment will revoke a will in Section 64.1-59 of the Code:

§ 64.1-59. Revocation by divorce or annulment; no revocation by other change; revival upon remarriage. — If, after making a will, the testator is divorced a vinculo matrimonii or his marriage is annulled, the divorce or annulment revokes any disposition or appointment of property made by the will to the former spouse. Any provision conferring a general or special power of appointment on the former spouse and any nomination of the former spouse as executor, trustee, conservator or guardian, unless the will expressly provides otherwise, shall also be revoked. Property prevented from passing to a former spouse because of revocation by divorce or annulment shall pass as if the former spouse failed to survive the testator. The other provisions of the will conferring a power or office on the former spouse shall be interpreted as if the spouse failed to survive the testator. If the provisions of the will are revoked solely pursuant to this section, and there is no subsequent will or inconsistent codicil, the provisions shall be revived upon the testator's remarriage to the former spouse. No change of circumstances, other than as described in this section, shall be deemed to revoke a will.

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9/08/06, 6:26 pm

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