How does divorce affect a Will?

During the trauma of divorce, it is easy to overlook the impact it may have on your Will, but it is an important consideration to ensure your inheritance is divided according to your wishes.

When you marry, any existing Will is automatically revoked and so it is important for married couples to make a new Will. If the marriage breaks down resulting in divorce, your current Will remains valid but for inheritance purposes your ex-spouse is treated as if they had died on the date the marriage or civil partnership was legally dissolved.

However, if the Will did not specify how the estate would be divided on the death of your ex-spouse, your assets may not be divided up as you had intended.

What’s more, on divorce if your ex-partner was a named executor or had Lasting Power of Attorney, this is automatically revoked, and you will need to make new arrangements.

The importance of making a new Will after divorce

To ensure your estate is left to those you want to inherit your assets and provide for a new partner and any children, it is important that you make a new Will once your divorce is finalised.

This is particularly important if you are in a new relationship and want to ensure any children from your previous marriage inherit from you. If you go on to marry your new partner, remember that any Will made before the marriage will be revoked and you will need to revisit the Will to ensure it continues to benefit those chosen by you.

What happens about spousal maintenance?

If you are paying spousal maintenance, there is no obligation to provide for your ex-spouse in a new Will. However, they may be able to claim against your estate under the Inheritance Act. This allows people to claim against an estate if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased.


As a specialist firm of family lawyers, we have a wealth of experience in helping couples to separate and divorce as amicably as possible. To support those struggling with family breakdown, we offer an initial no obligation consultation for up to 60 minutes for a fixed fee of £100 (incl. VAT). At this meeting, we can advise you on all the issues relating to your personal circumstances, allowing you to make informed decisions moving forward.

To book an appointment please call 01444 472700, email us at or complete the form below.

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