Does Divorce Revoke or Invalidate a Will?
20 Jan 2021
Does divorce revoke or invalidate a Will? Kelly Grigg, a family lawyer at Richard Nelson LLP, outlines whether or not divorce affects your Will and how to protect it during the divorce process.
Richard Nelson LLP is a leading firm for 2021, part of the legal 500. Our family lawyers have been accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law.
Does divorce affect a Will?
It is recommended that anyone with children or property should have a Will, whatever their age or marital status.
It is advised to have a new Will prepared whilst going through the divorce process. If you do not have a Will, then now is the time to have one prepared.
Whilst you remain married to one another, you remain each other’s next of kin. Without a Will in place, the other may inherit your Estate under the Intestacy rules. This may not be what you want, instead preferring to give what you have to your children.
Once you have obtained your final divorce certificate, known as Decree Absolute, any Will you have prepared prior to the divorce remains valid except for the clauses which refer to your former spouse. Instead, the law treats any former spouse in a Will as if they had already died, referencing them as no longer applicable. However, in these circumstances, the rest of the Will remains valid. This means any appointment of an ex-spouse as either an Executor or a Beneficiary will fail.
Some people still wish for their ex-spouse to benefit from their Will or to be an Executor of it, particularly where there are joint children involved. In these cases, you would have to prepare a Will post-Decree Absolute so it is clear that this was your intention even after the divorce.
Work with a family law specialist
Kelly Grigg is a family solicitor with a wealth of experience helping a wide range of clients on family law matters.
With years of experience comes the understanding that every family is different. Kelly offers assistance and representation at court on family law matters including divorce and separation; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; children matters; unmarried couples; financial matters; and domestic abuse and protection orders.
At what is a stressful and emotional time, Kelly prides herself in avoiding legal speak. She will clearly explain your options and the processes involved, so you feel in control every step of the way.
Kelly understands that family life can be hectic at the best of times and is happy to make arrangements for out of hours appointments where needed.
“I really can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me with my divorce. The process has been made easier by your understanding of my situation and the care you have provided. I breathe a sigh of relief that it’s nearly over and my future is a whole lot happier and brighter.”
“Kelly is a professional, friendly and supportive Solicitor. She helped my son gain access to his daughter, advising him every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kelly.”