A marriage, separation or divorce will usually have a massive impact on your life. In most cases you will feel like there is more to worry about than your estate planning, but it is at these times it is most important to do so.
The effect of marriage on a Will depends on the terms in the Will. A Will that was made before marriage will usually be automatically revoked, except for the following provisions:
(i) A gift to the person to whom you married, if you are still together at the time of your death; or
(ii) An appointment as executor, trustee, or guardian, of the person to whom you are married if you are still together at the time of your death.
However, if you made your Will ‘in contemplation of marriage’, it will not be revoked by that marriage. To ensure this occurs you will need to include the express words that you are making the Will ‘in contemplation’ of the particular marriage.
SEPARATION OR DIVORCE
If you separate from your spouse (and this includes people in a defacto relationship), the terms of your Will are not impacted.
However, if you have divorced after 1 November 1989, the divorce will have an effect on the terms of your Will. If that is the case, any gift in your Will in favour of your spouse is revoked.
As you can see, the law can easily become complicated when your life changes. Most people will be quick to change their relationship status on Facebook and not give their estate planning a second thought.
If you don’t have a Will or think your Will needs to be updated, contact our office to make an appointment.
Answers provided are for your general information only. Please contact our office on 63625433 for advice tailored to your individual situation.