What should I consider changing in my Will if I get divorced?

If you’ve already got a will and you’re planning to get divorced, now could be a good time to review it and if needed write a new one.

Will your will still be valid?

When you get divorced your will is still valid. However, any provisions you’d made in your will to leave your estate to your spouse or for them to be an executor will be ineffective from the day your marriage ends, unless the will says otherwise. It’s also worth bearing in mind that until your divorce is finalised, your spouse will still be entitled to inherit as per the instructions in your existing will – unless you change them. The same is true of civil partnerships.

Things you may want to consider reviewing in your will if you get divorced:

  • Who your beneficiaries are. If a large amount of your estate was previously going to be left to your ex-spouse, they’re no longer being included in your will could mean you want to re-jig things a little.
  • Who your executors are. It is always a good idea to have more than one executor, so if your former spouse was previously appointed in this role, you may want to consider someone else as a replacement for them. Find out more in our ‘Who to appoint as your executors’ article.
  • Your inheritance tax liability. By previously being able to leave all or part of your estate to your spouse or civil partner, anything you left them would have been free of inheritance liability (IHT), with no limit. Your estate will now use your IHT allowance of £325,000 (unless you get remarried and rewrite your will to benefit your new spouse).
  • If you still want to include your ex-spouse or civil partner in your will. Perhaps you’d still like to leave something in your will for your former spouse. Or if you have ongoing obligations to support them financially, you might want to reduce the possibility of them being able to make a claim on your estate in court. If you don’t write a new will, this won’t happen. Find out more in our ‘When can your will be challenged in court’ and ‘Who to include in your will’ articles.

In light of the above, if you’re getting divorced, it’s usually a good idea to make a new will. At Affio we make it all as simple for you as possible and will give you all of the information you need to make the right choices for you and your new situation.