If you have made a Will – and every adult should – you may think you can set and forget it until the day you die. But family lawyers will tell you that things can change if you should get divorced after the Will is made. For a start, any gifts you have Willed to your ex-spouse will be invalidated by a divorce. And if they were appointed as the Executor of your estate, they now won’t be able to take up that role should the need arise.
That is why you must see that a new Will is created by a Wills lawyer after the divorce has become official. Don’t do anything before this date, as it will not hold good after the divorce is final anyway. Since you make a Will so that your assets can be disposed of the way you want, it is essential to make a new one not only after a divorce, but after any other major changes in your circumstances.
For instance, if you remarry at any time after the divorce, or even if you marry for the first time, you should again upgrade your Will to include your new spouse. Then there could be more children that you would want to include in the disposal of your assets. All these things should be taken into account. While many Wills are quite straightforward, others can be quite complicated so it is wise to have your Will made out by a solicitor or your family lawyer.
While going through a divorce can be a difficult time and the emotional upheaval makes it difficult to think about anything else clearly, and even though a divorce may take months to become finalised, it is important to keep in mind the necessity of changing your Will. Otherwise your assets may go to the wrong person, or there could be bitter recriminations over your assets that could cause bad feeling throughout the family for decades to come. You would not want that to happen.
In addition, if your current Will was declared invalid, you may be deemed to have died intestate – without a Will – and so your estate could be legally tied up for many years – and then end up with most of your assets going to the state rather than your heirs. In fact, even though children can claim an inheritance it is sure to cost them a great deal in court fees that they may not be able to pay.
So you can see what a problem it can cause to neglect updating your Will. But once this is done you will have peace of mind that those people you still love dearly will be able to benefit from the distribution your assets in the way you want.