This week a Russian billionaire was ordered to pay his estranged wife £453m in a divorce settlement at a British court. The payment has been described as one of the biggest awards made by a UK court. This article is about divorce and Wills.
The sums involved in the case were eye-watering and incidentally, they are Surrey residents. It’s also a fact that divorce rates in Surrey are higher than in any other English county.
The divorce settlement could be large as in this case or more modest. What many people do not realise is the implications of divorce on an existing Will.
Divorce and Wills
Divorce does not completely revoke a Will but only causes a gift to the former spouse to lapse. Whilst this is often what is wanted, it may not be desired in every case. Furthermore the Will may not include adequate alternative provision in the event of the failure of the gift to the former spouse. An appointment of the former spouse as executor is also automatically cancelled. This could leave the Will without executors if the former spouse was sole executor or with too few executors if the former spouse was one of two executors and the situation is one where more than one executor is needed. The result is extra complications following death.
Your Will should always be reviewed following a life-changing event such as divorce. At MGM Wills we provide a free Will review service. Given your new circumstances and relationships with family members we can advise on a new Will that reflects your current wishes.