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Going Through a Divorce? What About Your Will?

Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful - there is a lot to consider and a great number of myths surrounding the process.

The most important legal aspect of a divorce is the financial settlement. Many people are under the mistaken belief that the divorce being finalised will bring an end to financial claims. It is only a court order made within divorce proceedings that brings an end to those claims.

A couple may agree between themselves how to divide their assets when they divorce, but if that agreement is not made into a court order, then the agreement is not binding. We are seeing many people who are now facing financial claims months or even years after they divorced.

One thing that should not be forgotten when getting divorced is your Will.

During divorce proceedings your existing Will is still valid and if you were to die during the divorce proceedings then its provision would take effect. In most cases your spouse is probably still named as the executor and main beneficiary and you are unlikely to want this to be the case anymore.

On the day the decree absolute is granted by the Court, your former spouse will not inherit anything from your Will even if he or she is still named as a beneficiary.

A Will is more than just distributing financial assets, it is about acknowledging those that matter to you, distributing your special possessions, and formally documenting your final wishes.

To avoid added stress and burden on your loved ones during a difficult time, it is important to make sure your estate is going to the people you want it to. If you’re undergoing a divorce, it is advisable to update your Will to make it appropriate to your new circumstances.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers provide police officers with legal advice on family matters and in wills, trusts and estates. Call our police law solicitors on 0845 601 1908 or select your region to find the Slater and Gordon representatives for your police federation.

James Beresford is the head of the wills, trusts, tax and probate department at Slater and Gordon.

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