28th July 2017
Despite what some people think, lawyers are human too. We understand that Wills and estate planning can be one of those topics that make your eyelids heavy. Some people assume that making their Will is similar to the pain experienced when completing a tax return. You might be surprised to know that it is not actually as horrible or dull as you may think!
More importantly, the benefits to your family and loved ones of you having an up-to-date Will infinitely outweigh the minor inconvenience to you.
While you might trust those around you to know and respect your wishes, dealing with the death of a loved one is always easier when provided with direction.
If you die without a valid Will, it will be left to your loved ones to apply to the Court to be appointed Administrator of your estate. This increases stress and uncertainty for your family, while also increasing costs.
Wills become invalid by divorce or marriage. What about in the situation of a separation? Separation has no effect on the validity of a Will.
We’ve seen horror stories where a person has separated from a former spouse for almost 10 years and been in a new de facto relationship for the last 5 years. Their Will has not been updated so when that person passed away, their estate was left to their former spouse instead of and their current partner. This means their current partner had to decide to either contest the Will or walk away.
Ideally, you should be revisiting your Will every 3 – 5 years to make sure it’s still in line with your wishes. If you have recently separated or are contemplating divorce, then don’t wait. We urge you to contact our office to prepare an updated Will and Enduring Power of Attorney.
Please note the content of this post is information only and not legal advice. If you require legal advice it is best to contact one of our lawyers who can review your particular circumstances and then provide tailored advice according to your needs.
If you and your spouse have made the decision to officially end your marriage, understand the divorce process in Australia. Read More…
When claiming this particular status, Australian family law has designed several factors to determine whether a couple is in a de facto relationship. Read More…