Review insurance for dependants and your will on separation if you were living together

Separating from your partner, if you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, might mean that you need to take out extra life insurance, change or make a new will. Find out what you can do to make sure you financially protect your children, or any other dependants.

Sort out life insurance

Work out if you need, or have enough, life insurance.

When you separate, you can’t divide a life insurance policy – one of you has to take it over or cancel it.

That means the other partner could be without life insurance.

After you separate, do you have children or anyone else who depends on you financially? Or do you now have a joint mortgage with a new partner? If so, it’s worth considering taking out life insurance.

arrow icon

Protect child maintenance payments

If you receive child maintenance from your ex-partner, consider taking out life insurance to cover their life.

You or your ex-partner could take out a policy that pays a lump sum, or one that pays you an income for a specific length of time – perhaps until the child maintenance payments were due to end.

Life insurance that pays an income rather than a lump sum is called ‘family income benefit’ insurance.

Review death-in-service benefits

Your workplace might pay out a lump sum if you were to die while you’re employed there.

You usually have to say who you’d like to receive this lump sum. Although bear in mind that some schemes won’t recognise cohabiting partners as beneficiaries (someone who’s able to receive the lump sum).

Even so, it’s important that you check who you’ve nominated as a beneficiary after you’ve separated.

Review your will

Review your existing will, or write a new one, after you and your ex-partner have separated.

If you didn’t leave anything to your ex-partner, you don’t need to make a new will. But it’s important to review it to make sure it’s up to date.

Changing your will

You don’t have to rewrite your entire will if you’re only going to make very minor changes. Instead, you can add what’s called a ‘codicil’. 

arrow icon

If you want to make major changes to your will – such as leaving money or possessions to someone else – it’s probably worth making a new one.

When writing a new will, make sure you've made your wishes clear and that it’s valid.  

arrow icon

Why you need a will

If you don’t have a will yet, it’s worth thinking about getting one.

If you don’t have a will when you die, your money and possessions will be passed on according to the law.

This can lead to complicated arrangements – for example, between first and second families. And that might not be what you want.

For example:

  • Any children you have could inherit everything if you don’t marry or enter a civil partnership.
  • If you do remarry or enter a new civil partnership, your new husband, wife or civil partner could receive some or all of your money and property.
  • If you live with a new partner without marrying or entering a civil partnership, they wouldn’t have an automatic right to inherit.
arrow icon

Your next step

Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
0800 011 3797* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
0800 138 7777* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp
+44 77 0134 2744

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.