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    • virtualme
    • By virtualme 6th Mar 18, 9:37 PM
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    virtualme
    Will after divorce and other questions
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 9:37 PM
    Will after divorce and other questions 6th Mar 18 at 9:37 PM
    My Father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week and would be really I be grateful for any advise.

    I have a copy of his (very brief) will, which leaves everything to his Wife (my Mother), or in the event of her dying before him, 1/3 each to me and my Brother and 1/6 to each of my two young children. My Mother and I are named as executors.

    Since the signing of the will he has divorced my Mother, although they remained on good terms. My understanding is that the a divorced spouse is treated as though they have died and are no longer able to act as executor or inherit. Therefore I am the sole executor and the estate should be split as in the event of her dying before him. Is this correct?

    If my Brother, Mother and I agree are we able to change the distribution of the estate, so that my Mother receives a share? I believe this is what my Father would have wanted, but I don't know if we are allowed to do this?

    Finally, I have looked through his paperwork and estimate that his estate is worth only around 10,000, even less after a few small bills and the funeral have been paid for. It is all cash savings and an old car, no property, shares or valuables. With an estate this small would I necessarily need to apply for administration and/or probate, provided the bank doesn't require it?

    Sorry for so many questions!
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 6th Mar 18, 10:22 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:22 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:22 PM
    Divorce does not invalidate the will nor does it prevent the ex wife being executor or inheriting under the will. The executors cannot change the will but the beneficiaries can, if they wish, do so after thedistribution has taken place by paying who ever they chose. Unless a bank requires probate then you don't need it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    As everyone seems to be on good terms and are in agreement on how to distribute the estate this can also be done through a deed of variation, but as the estate is small and inheritance tax is not an issue do as YM99 suggests above it is the simplest solution.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 6th Mar 18, 10:39 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:39 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:39 PM
    Divorce does not invalidate the will nor does it prevent the ex wife being executor or inheriting under the will. The executors cannot change the will but the beneficiaries can, if they wish, do so after thedistribution has taken place by paying who ever they chose. Unless a bank requires probate then you don't need it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Actually my quick googling indicates that divorce does prevent inheritance: the former spouse is treated as if they died on the date of the decree absolute, and one source said they couldn't act as executor either, which makes sense ...

    There is a 26 page gov.uk document here which I confess I haven't read.

    But small estate, everyone on good terms, probably not a problem. If you do have to go to probate, I'd ask the probate office for advice before paying for any.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 6th Mar 18, 11:07 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:07 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:07 PM
    Actually my quick googling indicates that divorce does prevent inheritance: the former spouse is treated as if they died on the date of the decree absolute, and one source said they couldn't act as executor either, which makes sense ...

    There is a 26 page gov.uk document here which I confess I haven't read.

    But small estate, everyone on good terms, probably not a problem. If you do have to go to probate, I'd ask the probate office for advice before paying for any.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    I just checked and you are correct. Mea culpa! My previous post deleted.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 06-03-2018 at 11:16 PM.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 6th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
    To be fair, I only googled it because I thought divorce DID invalidate a will, but what I found was that it only affects the former partner.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 6th Mar 18, 11:40 PM
    • 4,992 Posts
    • 5,554 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:40 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 11:40 PM
    I just checked and you are correct. Mea culpa! My previous post deleted.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Although if the deceased lived in Scotland the will would be unaffected.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 7th Mar 18, 1:08 AM
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    Tom99
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:08 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:08 AM
    If your children are under 18 you cannot reduce their 1/6th even with a deed of variation.
    You and your brother can do whatever you like with your share.
    • virtualme
    • By virtualme 7th Mar 18, 10:39 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    virtualme
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:39 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:39 AM
    Thank you for all the helpful responses. This has confirmed what I though, which is really reassuring.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 7th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    To be fair, I only googled it because I thought divorce DID invalidate a will, but what I found was that it only affects the former partner.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    I was discussing this with a friend this morning. What I am not sure of is if this restriction only applies to a will made before a divorce. I always understod that and English tesataor was free to leave their estate to whoever they wished. If any one can point me to a definitive answer I would be grateful.
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 7th Mar 18, 10:02 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 421 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    I hesitate to get involved in legalities, but for general discussion, I suspect that the difference may be in the exact wording of the will.
    "I leave all my property to Mr. Rupert Bear" is not the same as "I leave all my property to my husband Mr. Rupert Bear"
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 7th Mar 18, 10:36 PM
    • 38,486 Posts
    • 35,152 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    I was discussing this with a friend this morning. What I am not sure of is if this restriction only applies to a will made before a divorce. I always understod that and English tesataor was free to leave their estate to whoever they wished. If any one can point me to a definitive answer I would be grateful.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    I'm not sure what you mean: if in a moment of madness I divorced my DH, then my understanding is that my current will would read as if he'd pre-deceased me, so everything would go to our boys, and one or more of them would have to step up and execute it.

    However, if in that MoM I divorced him, and THEN made a new will in which I left him the lot (again), and named him and described him as my EX husband, I think that would be acceptable - however IANAL so that's not the confirmation you're looking for ... but am I understanding you correctly?

    I hesitate to get involved in legalities, but for general discussion, I suspect that the difference may be in the exact wording of the will.
    "I leave all my property to Mr. Rupert Bear" is not the same as "I leave all my property to my husband Mr. Rupert Bear"
    Originally posted by buildersdaughter
    Agree, but I THINK that if after writing the will you divorced Mr RB, it wouldn't matter how you identified him. So if you want Mr RB to inherit after you've divorced him, I think you'd need to identify him both by name and as your EX husband.

    This is my logical reasoning. Why I think that would have anything to do with the legal niceties I have no idea.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 7th Mar 18, 10:51 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 1,392 Thanks
    Tom99
    I was discussing this with a friend this morning. What I am not sure of is if this restriction only applies to a will made before a divorce. I always understod that and English tesataor was free to leave their estate to whoever they wished. If any one can point me to a definitive answer I would be grateful.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Yes I would agree with that interpretation. So a will signed before divorce and death after divorce will remove the spouse from the will, which seem to be what has happened here.

    Its not clear whether you can make a will 'in anticipation of divorce' just like you can make a will 'in anticipation of marriage' but there is certainly nothing to stop you having an ex-spouse as a beneficiary for a will signed after you have divorced.

    But as said above the children's 1/6th cannot be reduced if they are under 18 so any gift back to the mother would have to come from OP and brother.
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