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And They Lived Happily Ever After? Wills and Divorce

And They Lived Happily Ever After…? Wills and Divorce

Unfortunately life doesn’t always turn out the way we would like and sometimes we need to think about matters not so nice.


I know making a Will is not at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds but even if it is not important for you it will be important for those around you.  People’s circumstances change constantly and your Will needs to change and adapt as well.

Take a divorcing couple with no children for instance, they have been granted the Decree Nisi and are waiting the six week period before Decree Absolute is granted.  The Decree Absolute will be when the divorce is finalised.

However, the husband dies before the Decree Absolute is issued and therefore the divorce is not finalised.  The husband did not remake his Will upon separation of his wife.  As his wife was still technically married to him, she was still able to inherit under her husband’s old Will which I am sure is much to the distress of the husband’s extended family.

Will made at the right time

If the husband had made a Will upon separation with his wife, or at the same time as the divorce proceedings, then his wife would not have been the main beneficiary and inherited. Keeping your Will up to date is a person’s best way of making their wishes known with regards to their estate.  Of course, once a divorce is finalised and the Decree Absolute issued, your ex-spouse is treated as having died on the day the Decree Absolute was granted by the courts so under these circumstances the spouse would not be able to inherit even if they were named as a beneficiary of the Will.

I am sure the husband thought that he would be saving money by not remaking his Will before the Decree Absolute, however, as in life, certain decisions are a gamble.

If you do have a Will I would advise you that you do need to review it constantly because your personal and financial circumstances may change and the Will need to be altered to reflect that.  Even if it is the case that you review your Will and decide nothing needs to be done at least your family will be satisfied that your Will is a true reflection of your wishes.

Contact Private Client Team

Thara Thangavel | Solicitor

Private Client Department, Kerseys

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