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Making or Amending a Will After Divorce or Separation

If you are recently separated or divorced, making a Will should be a priority. Without a Will, there is no guarantee that your property and other assets will pass to the people you intend to benefit on your death.

If any of the following situations apply to you, you should be seeking advice about making a Will:-

  • You are living with another person but are not married or in a registered civil partnership

The only way you can provide for a loved one in these circumstances is to name them as a beneficiary in your Will. There is no provision in English Law for a cohabitee to inherit property or assets held in your name automatically on your death.

  • You are married or in a registered civil partnership but have separated and you DO NOT want your spouse/civil partner to benefit from all (or part) of your estate on your death

If you do not make a Will or change your existing Will following separation and before obtaining the Decree Absolute on divorce, this could result in your spouse inheriting all or part of your estate on your death. You should seek advice about your Will as soon as possible after separation. Divorce will not automatically invalidate your Will but your ex spouse/civil partner will be treated as though they have predeceased you once the Decree Absolute has been pronounced.

  • If you are thinking of re-marrying after divorce:

You should be aware that marriage revokes any existing Will you have made unless that Will has been written in contemplation of the proposed marriage.

  • You have dependant relatives or minor children and wish to ensure that they are provided for.
  • You have no living or close relatives and wish to benefit charities and or friends on your death..
  • You are married or in a registered civil partnership and have children from a previous relationship

If you have a child or children from a previous relationship and wish to make provision for them on your death, you need to make a Will. A spouse/civil partner is under no legal obligation to make provision for your child/children if they survive you and inherit the whole of your estate.

Making a Will creates certainty, reduces worry and gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly how your money, property and possessions will be dealt with after your death.

Sally, Suzy and Sue are all solicitors specialising in the preparation of Wills. For more information, or to arrange an appointment to discuss your individual needs and how we can help you, contact us on 0161 7645266.