If you are not married but have children
If you’re not married to your children’s mother or father and you then separate, if anything should happen to you, the other parent will automatically be one of the people put in charge of any money that your children inherit whilst the children are under the age of 18. For this reason, if you do not want the other parent to have this responsibility, you should choose someone that you trust (such as a sibling or parent) to look after your children’s inheritance, by appointing them to do this in your Will.
If you are married and then separate (without getting divorced)
Unless you are divorced, a separation from your husband or wife does not mean that they stop being your next of kin. This means that unless you have stated otherwise in a Will, they would be likely to inherit the majority (or possibly all) of your money and belongings under the Intestacy Rules.
If you have made a Will and your separated husband or wife is listed as a beneficiary in it, this would still be valid up until the point that a Decree Absolute is granted at the end of divorce proceedings.
To appoint legal guardians
If you are separated from your partner and have children, it may be the case that only one parent will have parental responsibility. It is particularly important to have appointed guardians for your children in a Will if this is the case; one or more people who you trust to become responsible for your children if the last (or only) person with parental responsibility were to die.
If you are getting married
Getting married invalidates any previous Will unless it contains a clause saying that it won’t be revoked by a marriage to that person. It is best to make a Will shortly after you marry, if you have not made one “in contemplation” of the marriage.
Advice about marriage and separation
If you would like some advice from a family law expert, call us for a free initial conversation over the phone and we will help as much as we can. If it is that you would like to come and see us (or if we aren’t able to answer your questions because we need more time and detail) then we have a fixed fee price for an initial meeting with any of our expert family lawyers.
Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.
Leicester 0116 254 8871
Hinckley 01455 639 900
Market Harborough 01858 467 181