Trading as Avery Walters Solicitors 
Trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors 
When going through the process of a divorce or separation something that is often overlooked is what would you want to happen to your estate should you die before the divorce is finalised. 
As a separation has no legal effect on a Will, your spouse will still inherit under any Will, no matter how long you have been separated. 
The process of divorce can take several months even years and if you are separated but not divorced it is very important to consider updating your Will or preparing a Will if you do not have one if you do not want your spouse to inherit. 
Your existing Will is valid until you get the Decree Absolute at which time your Will will be revoked so far as it relates to your ex spouse only. 
If you do not have a Will and you die before the divorce is finalised your spouse will inherit under the Laws of Intestacy so they will get everything if you do not have children and the first £250,000 plus half the remainder of your estate if you do have children. This is unlikely to be your wishes. 
If you have children or a new partner or wider family members then it is likely you will wish them to benefit on your death rather than your spouse. 
It could be that if you do nothing and die unexpectedly before your divorce is finalised your children inherit nothing or less than they need and may have to make, a possibly costly and lengthy, claim against the estate. 
Separated or in the Process of a Divorce? 
If you own property jointly with your spouse as joint tenants and you do not want your share in the property to pass to your spouse you should sever the joint tenancy so that you can leave your share in the property in your new Will otherwise it will pass to your spouse regardless of the terms of your Will by the rule of survivorship. 
The complex nature of this area makes it advisable to use the specialist services of a divorce solicitor as each case is case specific. If you are considering updating your Will or preparing a Will please Contact our team on 0113 2007480
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* Laura Stafford is the SFE accredited memberand a full member of STEP 
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