Do I Need A New Will After A Divorce?

Updated: Jan 17

A recent study has found that over the last 50 years, one third of marriages have ended in divorce in the UK. If you are a part of this statistic, it’s important to think about your Estate Plan. Whilst a marriage invalidates a previous Will, a divorce does not. That’s why if you have recently gotten divorced or dissolved your civil partnership, now is the time to review your Will to ensure it reflects your current wishes.

If you don’t update your Will, your estate may end up being divided differently to how you wanted, and it could mean that new partners or dependants aren’t provided for. Your estate could be viewed as though you don’t have a Will at all which means that the ‘rules of intestacy’ would come into effect.

We have had many clients come to us saying that they don’t need to make a new Will because their divorce is amicable and they have agreed with their ex-spouse how their assets will be shared. Unfortunately, there is zero legal guarantee that this will go how you want unless you specify it in a Will. You will also need to make other arrangements if you have previously appointed your spouse as an Executor or granted them Lasting Power of Attorney. These will have been revoked so you need to appoint someone else.

Another common situation is that spouses have separated but are still legally married. If this is the case, and you no longer wish for them to inherit any of your estate, you can remove them from your Will. Unfortunately, they may be able to make a claim on your estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act although this will cost them a lot of time and is a typically expensive process.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act enables people to make a claim from an estate if they have been left out of a Will or feel they haven’t been given enough. Ex-partners can make a claim on an estate if they are able to successfully prove they were financially dependent on the deceased. It’s wise to write a Will that allows your executors to negotiate with your ex-partner should this situation arise.

If you have recently been divorced, get in touch today to avoid a lot of chaos and confusion down the line, and to protect your loved ones.