Divorce and wills

Many of us will have made wills during our lifetime, whilst others may not have even thought about it.

Creating a will is important; it is a legal declaration on how you wish your property to be treated following your death. This may not be something that you want to think about, but without a will your property may be transferred contrary to your wishes. This is especially true in the case of potential divorce.

If you are in the process of divorce, you should be considering whether you need to update your will, or write a new one, if your wishes have changed.

Updating your will after a divorce

Following divorce, wills often get overlooked in the midst of the overwhelming emotions caused by the whole process. It is, of course, of vital importance to get all your paperwork in order. If you died without updating your will then it may mean that money or personal assets could be distributed incorrectly.

Following divorce the system will treat the ex-spouse as if he or she died at the time the decree absolute is declared by the court, so it is vital that you update your will, especially if you wish to leave something behind to your ex-spouse.

Can my ex-spouse inherit my future inheritance?

The only way a spouse would be entitled to a share of any future inheritance is in the circumstances in which:

  • The spouse can prove that their entitlement is an absolute certainty

Most commonly, this will be in circumstances in which there is a spousal maintenance order.

 What terms are you on with your ex?

So, if you don’t change your will, the chances are that nothing will go to your ex. If your ex is named as the executor, they would be barred from taking this role.

If you wish to leave your ex part of your estate, changing your will to specifically include this tenet is a priority.

Although there are many do-it-yourself wills online that offer cheap and speedy services, it is advisable that you speak to a solicitor to update your will. Wills must be drafted in the correct accordance to the law and badly written wills can be worthless.

If you wish to update your will following your divorce then there is no need to revoke your existing will - this can be done by simply creating a new one.

For more information on writing your will, see our information page on how to make a will.

Call us for free on 0800 533 5787 or use the web-form to the right to speak to an advisor who can put you in touch with the right solicitor for your needs.

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