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How Divorce or Separation Affects Your Will

13th January 2017

By Head of Wills, Solicitor James Antoniou

A Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. It allows you to plan properly and to say who looks after your affairs after you’ve passed away, who should take care of your children, how you would like your assets to be distributed and other matters important to you.

If you die without a Will in place (known as Intestacy) the law decides which people receive your assets and this is determined in a fixed order of priority.

For initial advice about making a Will call our Will writers on 03306069591 or contact us online and we will help you, or Start your Will online and get the right Will for you in 4 steps.

The Law in England & Wales

At present, English law states that if you are married or in a civil partnership then your spouse or civil partner is entitled to either the whole of your Estate or, if you have children, then the majority of your Estate. If you have no living family members, all your property and possessions will go to the Crown.

Divorce or the breakdown of any partnership can be a stressful time. The future is often uncertain so it’s easy to overlook the need to review your Will to understand whether any changes are needed. If you are, unfortunately, going through separation or divorce then it’s extremely important to know that, in the eyes of the law, you are still married until the marriage is brought to a legal end. This means that if you were to die before the final Court Order (Decree Absolute) or Dissolution is issued then:

  • Any existing Will which benefits your spouse or civil partner continues to be in force; or
  • If you do not currently have a Will in place, then your spouse or civil partner continues to be the main beneficiary from your Estate under the Rules of Intestacy.

Co-op Legal Services offer a unique Will writing service for people currently going through separation or divorce. If you are concerned that your spouse or civil partner may benefit from your Estate whilst separated then Co-op Legal Services offers a Family Break-Up Will service which allows you to make an initial Will with us now to ensure that your wishes are clear. Within the following 12 months you can update your Will with us to reflect any new wishes at no additional cost, regardless of whether you ultimately divorce or reconcile.

How Much Does it Cost?

A Family Break Up Will is for one person and costs from £174 including VAT. Once we have provided you with a written quote that price will not change.

Our Will writing service is available from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

For initial advice call our Will writers on 03306069591 or contact us online and we will help you.

Call 03306069591

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