Legal Case Study

Updating a Will During a Divorce

The problem

Our client was going through a divorce and was concerned about what claim her estranged husband might have on her estate should she die unexpectedly before the divorce was finalised.

The process

We drafted a new Will for our client which didn’t name her estranged husband at all. We also drafted a Letter of Wishes to make clear that our client’s estranged husband had been intentionally left out.

How this helped

Our client had separated from her husband and was going through a divorce. She was concerned about protecting her assets should anything happen to her before the divorce was finalised.

We drafted a new Will for our client which appointed her adult sons as the executors, trustees and major beneficiaries. The client’s estranged husband was not included in the Will in any capacity. Though this may seem clear cut, this could actually mean that the estranged husband would have an automatic right to claim on her estate on her death under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. This would remain the case until/unless he remarried or entered into a civil partnership.

In order to make sure our client’s estate would be protected from a claim like this, we prepared a Letter of Wishes to accompany her Will. This made it clear that her estranged husband had been removed from her will intentionally and confirmed that she did not want him to be able to claim on her estate.

We also advised our client to request that her divorce solicitor negotiate a ‘clean break’ clause in her final divorce agreement. This would ensure that neither party would have the right to claim on the other’s estate, whatever the circumstances.

Going through a divorce is an undoubtedly difficult and confusing time. We were able to work with our client to ensure that her legal interests in regard to her estate were protected as much as possible, even before the divorce was finalised.

The result

The Letter of Wishes was stored with our client’s Will in order to make it clear that she did not want her estranged husband to have any claim on her estate should anything happen to her before their divorce was finalised.

Do you need assistance with a legal issue like this?

Dealing with legal issues can be confusing and stressful. We understand this, and we’re always on hand to untangle jargon and offer support.

Scroll to Top