Separation and Divorce – How does this affect your Will?

Everyone over the age of 18 can make a Will providing you have the capacity to do so. Wills are particularly important for anyone wishing to protect, preserve and pass on their wealth. The ability for us to pass on our wealth can be impeded so keeping on top of our estate planning is crucial. At Philip Anthony Associates, we advise that you review your Will every 3 to 5 years and consider making changes after crucial life events like the birth of a child, the purchase of a property, or when you become a grandparent.

It’s also important to consider the effect that other life changes will have on your estate. Changes like separation or divorce for example.

It’s a misconception that an unmarried partner will inherit your estate if you passed away without a Will and a Will is crucial to ensure they do benefit. With this in mind, if you’ve got a Will and an unmarried partner is named as a beneficiary in that Will, upon separation, you ought to consider changing your Will if you’d like to make sure they no longer benefit. PAA can assist here.

If you’re not married and you don’t have a Will, then your partner won’t inherit under the laws of intestacy.

Let us take into consideration what would happen to your estate if you were married but separated. Under these circumstances with a Will naming your spouse or civil partner as a beneficiary, they would stand to inherit if something happened to you. The only clear way to ensure that they don’t benefit would be to change your Will, removing them as a beneficiary, or to divorce under which circumstances, the law treats your spouse as having died when then marriage or civil partnership was dissolved. If you have not updated your Will to reflect the fact you’ve divorced, your estate might be divided up differently to how you intend so it’s always advisable to speak to us to keep your Will up to date.