A new legal judgement where a daughter failed to prevent her father remarrying despite his dementia has highlighted the need for careful Will-making.

Zoe Perry, an associate solicitor in Thursfields’ Wills & Estates department comments in the wake of the England and Wales Court of Protection judgement on the case of DMM, published last week.

The remarriage will automatically revoke the father’s Will which had previously provided for his children, while advancing dementia leaves him legally incapable of making a new Will after the marriage.

Zoe noted how this outcome would have a significant adverse effect on the children’s expected inheritance, as their father would die intestate and they would get only statutory legacies.

She said: “Obviously this was a complex case and we’re not commenting on the rights and wrongs of what might have happened here. But the case highlights the importance of people making sure they make the right kind of Will that takes all eventualities into account, fairly providing for any new spouse but also protecting the bloodline to make sure children still share inheritance.

This is perfectly possible by making a Will in contemplation of marriage that takes such eventualities into account, but one that’s still perfectly valid if a remarriage doesn’t take place.”

Zoe who works out of Thursfields’ Kidderminster office, added: “This is so important because an increasingly aging population means more people will suffer from dementia in later life. But they would usually want to make sure all their loved ones still benefit should they remarry by making the right kind of Will while they are still mentally able to do so.”

The full text of the judgement on the DMM case published on 25 January can be read here: https://www.step.org/news/england-wales-daughter-failed-prevent-father-marrying-again-despite-dementia

For further information, please contact: 

Zoe Perry, Associate Solicitor, Thursfields Solicitors

14 Church Street Kidderminster Worcestershire DY10 2AH

Tel: 01562 512406 Email: zperry@thursfields.co.uk

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