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The Importance of Making a Will on Separation

If you are separated but not divorced from your spouse, then under the changes to inheritance law brought in October 2014 by the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014, then your spouse may have the right to inherit the whole of your estate if you die without leaving a valid Will and have no children.

If you have children, then your spouse will receive the first £250,000 of your estate, together with your personal belongings in addition to a half share in balance of your estate. In order to prevent this occurring it is essential that you prepare a Will confirming your exact wishes for the distribution of your assets upon your death.

There are various reasons why people do not get divorced upon separation, and some form new relationships and cohabit. Therefore it is vital to make a Will to provide certainty for the inheritance of your estate.

If the family home is jointly owned with your spouse, and you were to pre decease your spouse, then your share will automatically transfer to your spouse, regardless of any contrary provision in your Will. It is possible to sever the joint tenancy and then make a Will, to ensure that your share of the house is passed in accordance with any provision in your Will.

It may also be necessary to lodge an expression of wish with the trustees of your pension fund or life policy provider.

After the divorce is finalised and you have obtained the Decree Absolute, you must take advice to make a Will or review your existing Will, as divorce affects inheritance.

For Will advice, please Contact Us.