Matthew Duncan, Helen Freely and James Flanagan assess the lack of legal protection for vulnerable individuals following a rise in predatory marriages.
An issue that is causing increasing concern among those seeking to protect the vulnerable is that of ‘predatory’ marriages or romantic relationships. An individual lacking mental capacity, such as an elderly person suffering from dementia, may be at risk of exploitation by a potential partner whose intention is to obtain control of that individual’s assets on death, to the detriment of the individual’s family or others named in their will.
Under the Wills Act 1837, the general rule is that, unless the will is made in contemplation of marriage, entering into a marriage revokes any existing wills made by either party. This rule is not widely understood and leaves vulnera...