Research shows that half of all adults in the UK do not have a Will in place, with the figure rising to almost 60% among parents.
Many avoid making a Will because they imagine their assets will go automatically to their partner, or that their family will be left to decide how to make the distribution. But without a Will, the intestacy rules come into play, which govern how a person’s estate is distributed if they die ‘intestate’.
The rules have a strict order of distribution and do not provide for any cohabiting partner, irrespective of the length of the relationship. They also allow children under 18 to receive assets without any control over how the money is spent.
Having a Will setting out what you wish to happen if you die before your children are 18 is the only legal way to be sure they will be provided for and brought up in the way you wish, with the guardians you choose.
If you drew up your Will before getting married, it is automatically invalidated on marriage, unless it was drafted in expectation of the ceremony. And if you are in the process of getting divorced, any existing will remains valid until the decree absolute is confirmed, even if you have separated or received your decree nisi, meaning the spouse you are divorcing would benefit if those are the terms of your existing Will.
Equally, if you do not have a Will and something were to happen to you before the divorce is completed then the intestacy rules would apply and, again, it would be the spouse you are divorcing who would benefit, not your children or a new partner, parents or siblings. This may be the outcome you would wish to have happen, but if not, the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to make a new Will to cover your current situation and this can be done at any stage of the separation and divorce process.
If you wish to make or update an existing Will, please contact our team on 01752 663295 or alternatively email email@example.com