Do you have a Will in place that covers what would happen in the event of your death or the death of your partner? No doubt you would have given a lot of thought to your wishes should the worst happen, especially if children were involved. You would have considered lots of different scenarios; who would get your personal possessions, how your financial assets or property would be divided up, who would get the dog (if you have one of course!). You would have made a very detailed plan of exactly what should happen if you died. If you’re getting divorced an concerned about your Will, you will no doubt have a lot of questions.
What happens to your Will if your marriage ends?
But what happens if you then break up with your spouse and decide to get divorced? If you find yourself in this situation there will be lots of questions and many different issues to sort out. In terms of the plans you laid out in your Will, they remain legally binding no matter what the change of circumstance, unless you make changes to your Will.
Your plans and wishes could have changed dramatically since you made the Will. Obviously, this is dependent on your personal situation, but a good example to consider would be the people that you chose to look after your children in the event of both parents dying – would that still be your wish today?
Should you change your Will if you’re getting divorced?
It’s important to review your Will as soon as possible after a major life event happens, such as the break-up of a relationship. Often people will add it to the list of things to do once the divorce is finalised, but what happens if you die in the time between now and then?
This is obviously a very difficult subject to consider, so it might be best to try to take the emotion out of it and just look at the facts.
In essence, making a Will is a planning exercise, a very important planning exercise as it covers the future of the people you love. You’ve already been through this exercise once when you made your Will, so you know the issues that will be covered and you can prepare yourself in advance.
Any plans that you make should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure that they are still relevant. With a major life event like divorce, it’s even more important to sense check that the plans you made in the past are still as relevant today.
If you are in the early stages of divorce and need to find out more about your situation, the citizens advice is a good place to start with loads of useful information.
Should you wait until your divorce is complete before reviewing your Will?
You might be thinking that your Will may need to change again once your divorce is finalised and the legalities are complete. It may not need to be changed, but should definitely be reviewed again at that point. In the meantime, while you are going through such an upheaval in your life and you don’t have a timeline on your divorce being finalised, it’s worth making sure that what you’ve documented in your Will is still what you would want should the worst happen to you.
If this scenario applies to you then why not talk to a solicitor? You can book a no-obligation consultation. Rucklidge Law offers a Will writing and review service. Email us on [email protected] or call us on 01904 806031