On marriage. The wedding ceremony, grand or modest, marks the point in your relationship from which the best you can hope for is that one of you wakes up in the morning to find the other has died.
So, would divorce invalidate your will?
Afterall, the meaning, and perhaps the substance of your wedding vows was ’till death us do part’.
Does Divorce Invalidate Your Will, What about the 42%
Marriage and other romantic relationships are subject to the incalculable fluctuations of human passions. Affections move this way and that, love curdles, passions wither. And, sometimes marriages fail. There’s a 42% chance a marriage might end in divorce or annulment. You and I know people who separate but leave it at that.
Further, there are the cohabitees who never got married. All three classes of people are likely to have joined their finances together. They might have bought a house together. These classes of people are not our circus, not today.
Does Divorce Invalidate Your Will?
I am put in mind of a most delightful client of mine Gina.
She’d been separated several years from her husband. The house in which she lives was previously the one she’d shared with her husband. Although he had moved out, he was still a joint owner of the property.
So, on the parting of the ways, would divorce invalidate your will?
Divorce Invalidate Your Will: Last One Standing Wins
When two or more people buy a property together, the ownership papers tend to be drawn with the owners as joint tenants. It’s just the way many conveyancers have done things. It’s the way many mortgage lenders liked things being done.
One effect of joint tenancy is that ‘last man standing wins’. On the death of one of the joint owners of the property, the survivor gets the property. The survivor’s will would dispose of the house. No ifs no buts.
Gina was aghast that at the possibility that her property, or at least her share of the property would be inherited by anyone other than her children. She was knocked for six at the thought that her estranged husband, who’d made no contribution to financing and maintain the house for more than 20 years could inherit the property. When he moved out there was a huge mortgage on the house – we talk of the days in which an 8% mortgage was a deal so good it was beyond description. She was galled that rather than her children, the other woman would inherit the house.
You’ve parted company with a significant other. In the event of your death, would you be content for the person, no longer in your life to inherit your share of the property? If you don’t mind them inheriting, you may carry on as you are.
Does Divorce invalidate your will, What do You Think?
If you answered the question in the affirmative, you’d be a normal human being. That is the prime instinct of every normal person that divorce invalidates a will. Divorce does not invalidate a will. However, a marriage invalidates a will. The logic is straightforward, but as with most of these things rather boring.
Divorce does not invalidate a will. Say a couple A and B were married. When A’s will is read, it would be read as if B had died. so while divorce does not invalidate a will, it makes an awful mess of the document – it might refer to the ex-spouse in other ways. Best to write a new document to make sure your property ends up where you’d like it.
If, however you’d like your share of the property to go to someone other than your ex, call me on 020 8669 177. We’ll answer the question: Does Divorce Invalidate Your Will?
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