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.