Marriage Cancels a Will

Marrying someone AFTER you make a Will will cancel the Will, unless you insert a clause that the Will is made in contemplation of marriage

Marriage cancels a Will

Under common law, marriage revokes (cancels) an existing Will.

The above common law principle is enshrined in Section 13 of the Singapore Wills Act (Chapter 352) which specifically states that every will made by a man or woman shall be revoked by his or her marriage unless it is expressed to be made in contemplation of a marriage.

So for example, if you make a Will in 2005 and get married in 2008, the 2005 Will will be cancelled; and you have to make a new Will otherwise if you die, your assets will be distributed in accordance to the law under the Intestate Succession Act.

The way to get around this, as stated in Section 13 of the Wills Act, is to specifically include a clause in the Will to state that the Will is made in contemplation of marriage and shall not be cancelled by the marriage. It is good practice to state the name and NRIC number of the person you are going to marry.

A sample clause would state as follows:-

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me, AGNES TAN AH KOW (NRIC No. S7225442B) of Apt Blk 222 Bishan Street 12, #03-55, Singapore 570222 by which I DECLARE that as at the date of this Will, I am expecting to marry LIM SEOW CHONG (NRIC No. S8072555E) of Apt Blk 253 Bishan Street 8, #13-43, Singapore 570253 and I declare that this Will is not to be revoked by such marriage.

Benjamin Li Yong Le

About the Author

Benjamin Li Yong Le (“Ben”) is an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Ben is currently running his own boutique corporate and commercial law firm under the name and style of L’Avocat Law.