One aspect of divorce that often gets overlooked is the need to update your Will. Many people don’t realise that a divorce doesn’t automatically invalidate your existing Will.
However, it does have the effect of treating your former spouse as if they had died before you. This means your ex-spouse will not receive anything that you have stated in your Will for them to inherit. Despite this automatic adjustment, it is advisable to make a new Will to ensure your wishes are accurately reflected.
Why you should make a new Will
Creating a new Will eliminates any ambiguities and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your current wishes. In the long-term, this will give you clarity and peace of mind.
Your circumstances and relationships may have changed, and you might want to include new beneficiaries, such as children from a new marriage. Note also that a new marriage would revoke your previous Will.
Additionally, you may have ongoing financial obligations to your former spouse or children that need to be considered in your new Will.
Key matters to consider
Property and assets
If you have not already done so, you should take family law advice on the division of your assets on divorce.
Debts and liabilities
Ensure that your Will clearly outlines how debts, such as mortgages or loans, are to be settled. Your new marital status could also affect your Inheritance Tax liability.
Trusts for children
If you have minor children, you may want to set up trusts to manage their inheritance until they reach a certain age.
Executors and trustees
Choose reliable and trustworthy individuals to act as the executors of your Will and trustees of any trusts you establish.
Making a new Will after a divorce is not just advisable, it is essential for ensuring that your financial matters are in order. By taking the time to review and update your Will, you can achieve peace of mind and financial security for yourself and your loved ones.
If you have gone through a divorce and have not yet written a new Will, contact us today for expert guidance.
Senior Associate - Wills, Probate & Older Client Services
I specialise in Wills, probate and estate administration, trust preparation and administration, and powers of attorney.