Making a Will is really important for so many reasons but it is important to understand that once you have made a Will you cannot just put it in a drawer and forget about it. This is because circumstances in your life regularly change and these may require you to update your Will to reflect these changes.
Getting married or having children will affect the status of your Will and in addition, if you get divorced this also means that you should update your Will. There are a number of reasons why this should happen.
The first is that if you get divorced and don’t update your Will, your ex-spouse may get a share of your estate when you die, in fact they will get everything as documented in your Will. Most married couples leave everything to their spouse in the event of their death, so this could have a real impact if you leave your Will as it was when you were married.
Even if you feel that there is not much left to leave to your children after your divorce, making these changes will protect your children and mean that your ex-spouse has no access to these assets. Where your children are under the age of 18, any inheritance will be held in trust for them until they reach adulthood.
In addition, your ex-spouse may be listed as the Executor in your Will so removing them from this role is a must-do job.
If in the future you move in with or marry a new partner, you should change your Will again, however it is worth discussing this with your new partner and making a decision about what you should do regarding your children and what you will leave them in your Will.
You can make minor amendments to your Will with something known as a codicil but if the changes are significant it is likely that you will have to get it re-written. Speak to a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor about your requirements and they will help you to ensure that the changes you make are valid.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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