Unlike marriage, divorce does not automatically revoke your Will. Once divorced, your Will remains valid but takes effect as though your former spouse/partner has died on the date of Decree Absolute. It is therefore important that you make a new Will as soon as possible.
The effect of not changing your Will is that if your former spouse/partner was appointed as Executor, the substitute Executors mentioned in your Will, will take their place.
If you made a gift to your former spouse/partner, that gift will not take effect and will form part of your residuary estate. If you have given your entire estate to your former spouse/partner and there is no one else to inherit, your estate will be distributed under the intestacy rules.
If you appointed your former spouse/partner as a trustee of a trust for your children, the appointment of a trustee will fail. However, you may still want the children’s parent to be trustee of their trust fund and this is something you may wish to consider.
Additionally, if you have also made Lasting Powers of Attorney, divorce will also cause the appointment of your spouse/partner to be revoked. In these circumstances, your replacement attorneys will step in. However, if your spouse/partner was appointed ‘jointly’ with another, the LPA will be invalid.
If you wish to discuss making a new Will or Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact Ann Coutts on 020 8502 3991 for more information.
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