The importance of having a will when divorcing

If you have read our previous news articles, you will be aware of the articles that we have dedicated purely to the topic of divorce. For ease of reference, you can find these articles below, as they may prove useful stepping stones, before reading this article that focuses on the significance of having a will.

Useful divorce articles

What is the divorce process?

Divorce: FAQs


Knowing you’re in the safest of hands

We are proud to illustrate that every team member within Higgins Miller, specialises in the area of divorce. This is due to the many years of experience, knowledge and utmost care within this particular area of family law. We really mean it when we say we completely understand first-hand how stressful, isolating and exposing a divorce may leave a person feeling, so really are by your side, every step of the way. If you feel you need support at any stage within your relationship, even when a divorce may just be a possibility, never hesitate to contact us.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that acts on your behalf once you pass away. Within the document, it outlines the distribution of your personal assets after your passing and can appoint executors (people who will act on your behalf). A will enables you to effectively communicate your intentions and wishes clearly and effectively, without any room for misunderstanding or confusion.

A will can be made without a solicitor, especially if your will is considered straightforward. However, as it is a legal document it is advised to use a solicitor, as their wealth of knowledge and experience will make the process much easier and less stressful.

A solicitor can also check over your existing will, to ensure it has the lasting legal effect you wish for it to leave your loved ones. Wills are easy to make mistakes within and errors within your will can cause future problems and upset. If misunderstandings and disputes occur after your death, this can lead to huge legal costs, which inevitably then reduce the amount of money left in your estate.

Using a Wills and Probate specialist solicitor

At Higgins Miller we are proud to be Stockport’s leading solicitors in the legal field of Wills and Probate. Whether you require assistance to plan and write your will, or need to update your existing will , one of our expert team will happily assist you.

The role of a will once you separate

When you are separating from a partner, there can be many factors, decisions and thoughts running through your mind. Therefore, the thought of having a Will may not occur. It’s through experience that we urge any separating spouses to understand the necessity for each party to have their own will. This becomes even more essential once legally separated. We will outline the reasons for this below.

Whilst couples are happily cohabiting or married, we tend to find their wills are remarkably similar to one another. These can be known as Mirror Wills which at the time don’t appear troublesome or problematic. It is only once a couple separate that mirror wills may be invalid, with consequences for all those involved.

Consequences of wills and separations

Especially in the event of a relationship breakdown, which results in a separation, it is essential to note this doesn’t automatically impact your will. Especially when you are still legally married (pre-divorce), your will still very much stands. Separation has no legal bearing on your will, meaning your ex-spouse may stand to inherit under your will, regardless of the length of time you have been separated.

How often should you review your will?

Supposing you have a will, we recommend you review it at least once every five years. Of course, should your circumstances change, then it should be reviewed as close to the life-changing event as possible. For example, when you separate from your spouse, it’s worth talking to an expert as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a will, we urge you to consider making one at your earliest convenience. We have seen it far too many times over the many years that family members suffer due to an ex-partner receiving a deceased ex-partner’s estate. This can be devastating, so we wish to help you avoid this at every turn.

Any changes in circumstance tend to require a new will, or at the very least a simple change could be incorporated into a codicil, which will then supplement the provisions of the existing will.

Our will-writing assurance here at Higgins Miller Solicitors

We proudly offer very competitive fixed fees for preparing your will which includes meeting with one of our solicitors and preparing a draft will for you to consider.  Sometimes, we can even prepare your will whilst you wait. For those people who struggle to get to our office, we can arrange a home visit. As always, if you want to arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors call 0161 429 7251 or email [email protected] and we can set that up for you right away. Ensuring your will is written accurately, reflecting your absolute best intentions and wishes is our utmost priority.

Kaley W

April 23, 2024

Wills & Probate