The Impact of Marriage or Divorce on your Will

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In the UK, it is recommended that you review your will regularly, particularly when your circumstances change. The team at Swansea Legal Solutions has come up with these guidelines which highlight the key triggers which can have an impact on your will.

Triggers for Changing Your Will

Some of the common life events that may trigger the need to change your will include:

  • Marriage or divorce: marriage revokes a will, so if you get married after making a will, you will need to make a new one. Similarly, if you divorce or annul your marriage, the provisions in your will relating to your former spouse will generally become invalid.
  • Birth or adoption of children: If you have children, it’s important to ensure that your will provides for their care and support in the event of your death. If you have a new child or adopt a child, you may need to update your will to include provisions for them.
  • Changes in personal or financial circumstances: If your financial situation changes, for example, if you acquire new assets or liabilities, you may need to adjust the provisions in your will to reflect your current circumstances.
  • Death of a beneficiary or executor: If a beneficiary named in your will dies, or if an executor becomes unable to act, you may need to update your will to reflect these changes.
  • Changes in the law: The law relating to wills and estates can change, and it’s important to ensure that your will complies with the latest legislation.

Impact of Marriage or Divorce on your Will

The marriage status of an individual can have an impact on the distribution of their estate in the event of their death. If a person dies without having made a valid will, their estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which set out a legal hierarchy of who is entitled to inherit.

If the person was married at the time of their death, their spouse is generally entitled to inherit a significant portion of their estate. The exact amount they are entitled to will depend on the value of the estate and whether the deceased had any surviving children. If the deceased had children, the spouse may receive a percentage of the estate with the rest going to the children.

If a person makes a will while they are married, they can choose to leave their entire estate to their spouse if they wish. However, if the will is made prior to the marriage, it may no longer reflect the testator’s wishes and may need to be updated to take into account the changes brought about by the marriage.

If a person’s marriage status changes after they have made a will, such as if they divorce or annul their marriage, the provisions in their will relating to their former spouse will generally become invalid. It is therefore important to keep a will up-to-date to reflect any changes in circumstances, including changes to a person’s marriage status.

As you can see from these guidelines, It is important to keep your will up-to-date to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death. A well-drafted, up-to-date will can provide peace of mind and help to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

To make or change a will, call the team at Swansea Legal Solutions today for an appointment with a member of our specialist team on 01792 420844.

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