What is the impact of divorce on my Will?
16 September 2019 by Lauren Hancock
Ensuring your Will is kept up to date as life circumstances change is very important. Certain events in your life may result in your Will no longer having the effect you intended. Many people for example, do not know that when they go through a divorce this can drastically change the terms of their Will.
If you have gone through a divorce since making your Will, your Estate may not pass in the way you would like. Although your Will remains valid, any gift made left to your ex-spouse will fail, unless you have specifically stated otherwise. Similarly, your ex-spouse will no longer be appointed to act as Executor or Trustee of your Estate.
For many, the automatic exclusion of an ex-spouse from their Will, without having to update this, sounds like the perfect resolution to matters. The problem is however, that any gift left to an ex-spouse may not automatically pass to the person you would have chosen. If there is no substitute beneficiary named in your Will, this failed gift would pass in accordance with the ‘intestacy rules’. These rules set out an order of priority as to who will inherit when someone dies without a Will in place or where their Will fails to dispose of all of their assets.
It is important to review your Will regularly, particularly when facing life changes, to ensure that your wishes remain the same.
Our Wills, Life Planning and Probate team at Fisher Jones Greenwood are specialists in the preparation of Wills and would be happy to advise you further. Please contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.
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