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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33821
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a question to the lawyer. Does the length of the

Customer Question

I have a question to the lawyer. Does the length of the marriage matters when inheritance and Will is involved? My father got married in hospital under the influence of drugs. Prostate cancer stage 4. Was married for 10 days while staying in hospital. Died in hospital. Marriage was conducted in hospital. When we got there he was married. Relatives were not informed. He never shared a house or lived with the lady he had married. They new each other for 6 month during which he was going through chemotherapy. They lived in different countries. He lived in Tanzania ( British citizen) and she lived in Chech Republic. My father left everything to me in the Will. His wife of 10 days is claiming the whole lot. What is legal view of the British law regarding such a short marriage?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Nicola. I can wait a little bit. How long do you suggest I wait for an answer?

In Germany for instance , if you marriage lasts only 10 days and your husband left a valid Will naming somebody else as beneficiary than the will stands and wife of 10 days does not getting anything.

The same I believe in USA.

What is the England and Wales law regarding this situation?

Professional lawyer should know the answer????

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
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Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How long are you going to search for professional? Another week, two weeks - please give me a clear answer.

If it takes another week ,than you better refund my money

Helena

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes I would like a refund please. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Was the Will made before or after the marriage?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The Will was done before the marriage. I have asked about the length of the marriage. Is it significant that the marriage lasted 10 days in hospital, that my father died? Couple never shared a house , did not have a bank account and lived in different countries

Common Law is that the Will is revoked by marriage. We all know that.

I would like to know in which circumstances the Will is not revoked? As I have explained before my father and the lady he married lived in different countries. He came to Europe from Tanzania and collapsed , was taken to hospital, where emergency wedding was arranged by the Lady. Relatieves were not informed. We suspect that he was under influence of drugs. We arrived when he was already married. The lady in question is a nurse and hospital was in European Union. If you are out of your depth - please let me know, if you need more information please let me know as well. Are you specializing in family Law?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but in England and Wales (and Northern Ireland) there is no circumstance in which the Will is not revoked if the marriage was legally contracted - this is Statute Law and not Common law and there is no room for negotiation.
The area you need to look at is whether or not the marriage was in fact legal.
I am uncertain if the marriage took place in the UK or elsewhere
If it was in the UK then from the basic details given there is a chance that it was not
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33821
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Clare

Thank you for your answer. Sadly the marriage was contracted in Germany. A German Lawyer said that it is very difficult to prove that my father was under influence of drugs. In fact it is easy to prove, but laws are very relaxed in Germany. It looks like a predatory marriage to us, the circumstances surrounded it, the relatives were not invited and the person who orchestrated it was a palliative nurse for a long time. She knew what she was doing. Is it possible to have Court hearing about it in UK? Is it an expensive procedure? My father was British Citizen. Thank you for your help

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
This must be devastating for you
Unfortunately if the marriage is legal in Germany it is legal here so it has to be addressed there I am afraid
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Clare

Do you mean that there are not a single case, where the Will is not revoked by the marriage? Even if the marriage lasts only 10days?

Our English lawyer found at least one case, where it was not revoked.

Statute Law is the Rule. Where is the Rule , there are always exceptions of the rule. If you go to Google and ask when the Will is not revoked by the marriage - there are cases like that. He was Tanzanian citizen as well as the owner of British passport. For the last 17 years he lived in Tanzania. So it was the marriage of Tanzanian Citizen and German Citizen. By Tanzanian Law Will is not revoked by the marriage. I am interested not in General rule, but exceptions of the rule and relevant articles. May be as a High street Solicitor you are not dealing with cases like that often. It is a complicated case. Information that Marriage revokes the Will I can find on Google. It is a general Rule. Could you please suggest good Law firm who specializes in cases like that. Michcon de Raya is out of the question due to high cost and not huge amount of inheritance. Many thanks. Helena

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The only Wills that are not revoked by a VALID marriage are those made where it is clear that the Testator made the Will whilst planning to marry a specific person and did not intend the Will to be changed by the marriage
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/ihtmanual/ihtm12074.htm
So unless the Will was made after the wedding plans then it is revoked and from what you have said it is clear that this is not the case
There are no exceptions even a marriage which lasts 10 minutes would achieve this provided it was a VALID marriage
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Clare

What if testator was not given a chance to make the Will before the marriage?

In fact, what if testator was very Much prevented from making the Will before the marriage? He was on his death bed - scared, in pain, emotional and in Foreign country?

Could those circumstances be taken into consideration? What if Tanzanian or South African citizen marries abroad like in this case?

Statue Law of those countries make it clear that marriage does not revoke the Will. He said several times while in hospital that he wants everything to go to me. It was said in front of the new wife and his sister. So his intention was clear. He died thinking that I will get what he wanted me to get. What is my best option - Court hearing ? Do I have a chance to inherit what my father clearly wanted me to inherit?

Predatory marriages are on the rise

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but under the law in England and Wales - which governs the Will dealing with the UK property marriage DOES revoke the marriage (unless it is made in contemplation of marriage)
Your only option here in the Uk is to apply to the Court under the Inheritance (provision for Family and Dependents) Act
Clare

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