Wills and Estates

A party who has separated from his or her spouse where there is no prospect of a reconciliation is advised to make a new Will to update their beneficiaries and trustee/executor as their spouse will often be a beneficiary under the Will and/or be appointed trustee/executor of the Will. The divorce of a testator revokes a bequest of property to the divorced spouse of that testator in the absence of evidence of a contrary intention. It also revokes the appointment of the spouse as executor and trustee except in certain circumstances. Parties who have separated cannot however apply for a Divorce Order until they have been separated for a period of at least one year. Often more than a year passes between the parties’ separation and their divorce because parties do not usually apply for a divorce until they have finalised their property settlement and any children’s matters. It is therefore advisable for parties to make a new Will as soon as possible after a final separation to ensure that their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes in the event of their death.

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