Divorce and 2 New Wills!

This is just a very quick blog this week. Having had a conversation with a new business contact, and noting her confusion as to why a new Will is needed on divorce. I decided to again alert everybody as to why when divorcing you should always re-write your Will.

I have of course highlighted this before. If you are going through a divorce you do not want your soon to be ex-spouse inheriting your assets. More importantly the view you would have of other people you know through your former spouse (in-laws and your spouse’s siblings) will also change.

In many cases it might even be appropriate to do 2 Wills during the divorce process! The reason for this is as follows:

• It takes quite a long time to go from instructing someone to set the divorce wheels in motion to obtaining your Decree Absolute. The time between the start and the finalisation process should therefore be covered by a “holding” Will.

• Once everything is finalised and the money side (known as Ancillary Relief) has been organised. Then a further and final Will should be prepared. The reason is that each party to the divorce is then fully aware of his/her financial position.

Divorce is one of the most stressful times in your life. Think therefore of re-writing your Will as part of the process. By viewing it as part of the process, it can also be part of the process of moving on. If you want further advice please contact me.

Divorce: Why you must make a new Will

With the divorce rate ever increasing, it is essential that a new Will is executed.

So many clients over the years have been so stressed by the divorce, that the idea of putting a Will in place is that one step too far. But please take a moment to understand why you should do a new Will as soon as possible.

In cases where the divorce is extremely contentious, and it is taking a long time to agree the financial position. Always do what I call a “holding Will”. This is a Will that confirms at that point where you would like your assets to go. A side Letter of Wishes explains the reasoning behind the contents of the Will and why your spouse is NOT in the Will.

In one tragic case no such Will was put in place. In this case the divorce was part way through, however the absolute HAD NOT been obtained. The sudden death of the husband meant that his original Will was still valid. The person who he least wanted to have his Estate (his wife) inherited. In law she was his wife on his death and so she received his Estate!

If you are in the process of divorce, get your Will provision sorted out! Once the divorce is finalised and you know your post-divorce financial position, you can then put in place a Will which will last you several years.

Many of you reading this will think this is in effect 2 bites of the same cherry. However with the cost of the first Will being nominal, and the final Will being in place for some years. It’s better to pay now than have your family paying for the rest of their lives!