Concern about dying intestate before Divorce is finalised
We have recently acted for a Client (“C”) who had separated from her husband and was in the process of going through a divorce and wanted to draw up her Will.
She wanted to ensure that her wish to keep her husband out of the Will was clearly understood.
Preparation of appropriate Will.
Peace of mind for client, knowing their separated spouse will not receive their estate.
How this helped
As a result, we acted for C in the preparation of her Will with her sons to be appointed the executors and trustees and they were also to be the major beneficiaries of her Will.
C’s estranged husband was not included in the Will in any capacity, however, until their divorce was final – and possibly afterwards – C’s husband has an automatic right to make a claim on C’s estate when she dies under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This remains the case unless or until he remarries or enters into a civil partnership.
We were able to advise C in relation to her Will and prepared a Letter of Wishes to accompany it, setting out the facts behind her decision to leave her estranged husband out of the Will.
We also recommended that C spoke to her divorce solicitor and requested a “clean break” clause was included in her final divorce agreement. This clause effectively states that neither party can claim on the other’s estate, even if they haven’t remarried or entered into a civil partnership. Such a clause is therefore valuable in protecting assets after a divorce.
It is vitally important in these situations that clients are fully aware of their rights and the rights of their family members – including estranged spouses – in relation to their estates.
We were able to advise C on her Will and the accompanying Letter of Wishes and ensured that her estate was protected as much as possible from any claim by her estranged husband.
If you are in a similar position and need some guidance or assistance with making a Will, then please do not hesitate to contact us.