I have written about the legal effects of predatory marriages, and the concerns that arise in relation to the relative ease with which such marriages are held to be valid. Some have made important suggestions as to how to counter the predator.
One suggestion is to change any law that holds that a subsequent marriage automatically revokes a prior will. This is the case in the Province of Alberta and also in most U.S. jurisdictions. A problem in Ontario is legislation that treats the exclusion of a spouse under a will as an act of divorce. Still, for a short, predatory marriage, the amount receivable would generally be smaller than what would be received if the predatory spouse were given priority claims against the estate.
Another angle for the predatory spouse is to claim as a dependant of the estate, and to void any provisions of a will on that basis. Again, for a short, predatory marriage, it would seem less likely that a dependancy claim would succeed, or would involve much by way of payment, once the predatory nature of the relationship was established.
The real concern remains in those jurisdictions, such as Ontario, where marriage automatically revokes a prior will. A related issue is whether a will is revoked in those jurisdictions which recognize common law relationships as being equivalent to marriage. All of this leading to greater concerns that any revocation of a will must be by way of explicit act of revocation, rather than by subsequent actions, such as marriage, that do not directly address such prior will.
The person who spoke on this recently at the Law Society of Upper Canada was Professor Emeritus Albert Oosterhoff. The issue has been of serious concern to a number of leading estate pracitioners. Here is a 2010 article on predatory marriages, by the Hull & Hull law firm, which focuses on estate matters. Here is a 2011 article by one of the leading practitioners in the area, Kimberly Whaley.
Now, all that is needed is legislative change. Too easy to slip: