Is my Will still valid after a divorce?

Yes, your will should still be valid. However, if your ex-spouse or civil partner was appointed as an executor of the will or if they were to inherit property from you, they will be treated as though they had died on the day your marriage or civil partnership ended. The practical consequence is that they cannot act as executor and they do not inherit. Although your will is still valid, getting divorced could be a the perfect time to review it, especially if you had previously planned to leave a large amount of your estate to your ex-spouse or civil partner. There may be a number of other arrangements in your will which may benefit from being updated at this time too, such as considering how no longer being married could affect your inheritance tax liability, your executors and of course, your beneficiaries. Find out more in our ‘Getting divorced and your will’ article. Back to the knowledge...

Do you need guidance or can you write your Will by yourself?

You can write your own Will, without any help or legal guidance and as long as it is properly signed and witnessed it should still be legally valid in the UK. It’s just not recommended for a number of reasons: The problems with going it alone A Will is a legal document where errors can cause it to be invalid or ambiguity means costly mistakes are made after your death. The main problems are: You may not know or include all of important clauses which need to be used. By not using wording which has been tested in court you might be leaving yourself open to your Will being challenged in court after you die. By not having clear wording, your requests may not be carried out as you wanted them or lead to confusion or arguments for your loved ones. At Affio we help you to develop your Will step by step to make sure you’ve covered everything that’s important to you and your family. We’ll ensure all of the key wording and legal clauses are used, all of which have been written by a specialist barrister, so you can be sure that your Will is perfectly written and completely legal. Related Articles: Do I need a solicitor to make my Will? How do I make sure that my Will is legal? Do I need a solicitor to sign or witness my Will? Back to the Knowledge...

When does a Will become legally binding?

A will does not become binding until the person who makes it dies. Until that point the person making the will is not bound at all and can change their mind as often as they like by making a new will. For guidance on what makes a valid will, see How do I make sure my Will is legal? As always, we’ll be on hand to give you guidance and checklists every step of the way, so if you have any questions, you only have to ask. Back to the knowledge...

How does owning my house as a tenant in common affect my will?

You can co-own property with other people in one of two ways: As joint tenants; or As tenants in common Where co-owners of property are tenants in common, each of the co-owners has a separate share of the property. The shares can be in any proportion, so they can be equal or unequal. Unlike in a joint tenancy, when one tenant in common dies their share in property can be passed on under their will, just like other assets. Back to the knowledge...

How does owning my house as a joint tenant affect my Will?

Property can be co-owned in two ways: As joint tenants; or As tenants in common Where property is co-owned by joint tenants each of them owns the whole property and (while they remain joint tenants) the property cannot be shared between them. Property which is owned by joint tenants is not inherited under a will. When one joint tenant dies their share of the property goes to the surviving joint tenant(s) and the survivors then own the whole property – even if the deceased’s will says something different. If you want your share of jointly owned property to be inherited by someone who is not the other joint tenant, you will need to “sever” the joint tenancy. You can find information from the Government on doing so here: Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common, Back to the knowledge...