Divorce: How does it affect my Will?

Divorce: How does it
affect my Will?

We all know the part “til death do us part” but sometimes, and ever more commonly, marriages end in Divorce – 102,007 in 2017. Some divorces are amicable, some not so much…

After taking all the time (not to mention legal costs!) in agreeing on how money, property & assets are separated, is a Will still valid?

The simple answer is Yes. If you have a valid Will whilst you are still married then divorce does not revoke your Will and so it remains valid.

Marriage on the other hand does invalidate a Will (unless your Will includes your intended marriage).

In some cases, you may not want to change your Will. Your Will, made when you were married, may well state who your assets should pass to and this may not change. However, upon divorce your ex-spouse will be treated as having died at the date that the Decree Absolute is given and so will no longer be Executor, Trustee or Beneficiary under your Will unless contrary provision is made in the Will.

So, what should you do if you do want to change who will inherit your estate, and how easy is it to change?

You can revoke a Will at any time (providing you have capacity to do so) and this is quite simple to do. 

If you make a new Will at any point in your life it will revoke any previous Will that you have made (providing it is done properly). 

So, when should you consider changing your Will? 

You can make a new Will at any time and so it may be worth considering this after separating from a spouse. You do not have to wait for the divorce to be finalised or the Decree Absolute in order to finalise a new Will. 

What if you get remarried? 

It is not uncommon nowadays for individuals to have second or subsequent marriages. 

As mentioned above, when you get married your Will becomes invalid unless your Will states your intended marriage and so it is important to review your Will and make sure it is still in place and does what you want it to. 

Another consideration upon a subsequent marriage is your children. If you have children from a previous marriage then they may not receive any of your Estate if you die without a valid Will in place. Again, it is always best to review your Will on a regular basis to ensure your wishes are carried out. 

If you would like to have a free chat about your existing Will or making a new Will, please contact us on  info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Neil Barras-Smith

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