When you are transitioning to the new phase of your life, it is important to take stock.
If you are divorced and already have a Will in place, it remains valid. However, as soon as your divorce is finalised, your ex-spouse will be treated as though they died before you and they will not benefit from your estate (unless the Will states otherwise). Any gift you had left them in your Will passes to the next beneficiary who is entitled to inherit.
Notwithstanding the above, it is essential that you update your Will once your circumstances have changed (e.g. you separate from your spouse) instead of waiting for your divorce to be finalised. Should you die whilst you are still legally married to your spouse, they will be able to inherit from you either by Will (if you had named them as a beneficiary) or in the absence of a Will, under the intestacy rules. This may not be your intention.
It is important to note that a Will becomes invalid upon remarriage unless there is a clause in the Will stipulating that it is being made in contemplation of marriage to a specific individual.
If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place appointing your spouse as your attorney, when you divorce, they will no longer be able to act as your attorney (unless the LPA states otherwise). It is therefore important that you review your Lasting Powers of Attorney when your circumstances change to ensure that you have other attorneys who will be able to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them for yourself. Given your change of circumstances, it may be appropriate for you to make a new Lasting Power of Attorney appointing new attorneys to act for you.
We understand that this can often be a very stressful and emotional time. We will always act with sensitivity and will ensure all dealings with us will be confidential.
We can meet you at home, our office, your office or any other location to suit you. We also offer meetings by online video (such as Zoom, Skype and Teams) or by telephone.
Make an appointment
For urgent matters contact Paul ClarkTEP