Predatory marriage is the practice of marrying an elderly person exclusively for the purpose of gaining access to their estate upon their death. While the requirements for mental capacity to make a valid will are high, in most jurisdictions the requirements for entering into a valid marriage are much lower; even a person suffering dementia may enter into marriage. In many jurisdictions, a marriage arrangement will invalidate any previous will left by the person, resulting in the spouse inheriting the estate.
In the United Kingdom a campaign, Predatory Marriage UK (originally known as Justice for Joan) was started, working to change laws and procedures around marriage to reduce this practice, supported by lawyer Sarah Young of Ridley and Hall. The local MP, Fabian Hamilton MP, introduced a bill in Parliament during 2018 entitled the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Consent) Bill, to establish that marriage should no longer always revoke a previous will and have introduced other protections against predatory marriage. The bill was passed but ran out of parliamentary time, but work is continuing.
- What You Need To Know About Predatory Marriages, Huffington Post Canada, 30 May 2017
- "Predatory Marriage UK : Reforming marriage laws and procedures to protect people with dementia". Predatory marriage UK. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
- "Sarah Young". Ridley & Hall Solicitors | Huddersfield | Leeds | Pontefract | West Yorkshire. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
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- "Predatory Marriage – Campaign for Change in the Law". Ridley & Hall Solicitors | Huddersfield | Leeds | Pontefract | West Yorkshire. 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
- "Marriage and Civil Partnership (Consent) - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
- World News Empire, MP calls for 'predatory marriage' law change published 21 November 2018, accessed 31 October 2019
- Moore, Anna (15 September 2021). "Daphne Franks: the woman who lost her much-loved mother to a predatory marriage". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
- "The Guardian view on predatory marriage: new safeguards are needed". The Guardian. 3 October 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.