Importance of reviewing wills on divorce

This section highlights issues which have arisen for other lawyers at Stowe or points of learning which might be helpful to flag up to others.

Importance of discussion about reviewing wills on divorce

Some Lawyers recently attended a Resolution event at which the panel discussed the importance of giving separating clients advice about reviewing their wills.

A real-life example was given of a husband’s new partner who had brought an Inheritance Act claim against the separated ex-wife after the husband passed away before the consent order had been approved. His partner was allowed to obtain the family solicitor’s file for the judge to ascertain whether he had been given adequate advice about dealing with his will. It was suggested that she could have a claim against his family law solicitors if not.

We’ll review our letters of advice to ensure that we do provide sufficient information to clients about this. But everyone should keep this in mind and ensure that at initial meetings, you discuss the following (as appropriate to the matters involved):

  • The importance of reviewing and potentially updating an existing will or making a first will.
  • Considering whether there are any jointly owned assets which may pass by survivorship.
  • Severing any joint tenancies.
  • Updating any nominations on life insurance / death-in-service / pensions
  • Reviewing existing family trusts
  • Preparing new, Lasting Powers of Attorney

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