“After years of increasing, headline ONS figures today reveal an encouraging trend – the number of divorces is now declining. However, this is not true across the board. The number of divorces among same-sex couples more than trebled between 2016 and 2017 and among older people rates are actually higher in 2017 than in 1993, which is perhaps because of the number of people getting married in later life.
“Meanwhile, ministers have laid the ground for no-fault divorce which could lead to the numbers of divorces rising in the future. The current rules are archaic for more straight forward cases of divorce. Where the circumstances are relatively simple, a no-fault divorce would make a great deal of sense. That said the separation of jointly owned assets can be costly and complex. Legal and financial advice should be sought – it’s a new chapter which should trigger a new thought process with regards to estate planning, inheritance and tax planning.
“No matter how good natured your divorce is, it is vital to review any existing will and write a new will to make sure that your estate goes to the people you love and not people you used to. Similarly, if you have been working hard your whole life to build up a tidy pension pot for yourself it’s critical you review who you’ve nominated to receive the pension in the event of you dying. Alongside pension nominations other key estate planning issues to think about include trusteeships and asset ownerships.
“Divorce often leads to complex family situations as partners remarry or select new partners. No one knows what the future holds, and even if you don’t think you’ll end up being part of a complex family structure, you or your children could be at some point in the future. If you want your wealth distributed in a certain way, or personal possessions passed to certain loved ones, then you must plan for it. Investing in a trust can help to provide control and certainty over how and when wealth is distributed. Our research* reveals that people recognize the power of trusts, they often don’t follow through with setting one up - only 40% have set up a trust, even though 65% believe it is a good way to safeguard wealth.”
*Quilter surveyed 779 peopled aged 35 or older who have received financial advice and have £50,000 or more in investable assets.