How Marriage, Separation, and Divorce Affect Your Will

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Common questions about wills after a separation.

Should I review my will when we separate?

Yes, you should consider making a new will as soon as possible after you separate to ensure your estate passes in accordance with your wishes. You should also review any superannuation binding, death benefit nominations and powers of attorney granted by you.

Can my interest in our jointly owned real estate form part of my estate?

If you own real-estate as a joint tenant (frequently the case for a family home) your joint interest does not form part of the estate but instead automatically passes to the surviving joint owner.

Can I do anything to prevent this occurring?

You can discuss with your lawyer the possibility of converting the joint tenancy to a tenancy-in-common. This is a relatively straightforward process and your interest can then be dealt with in your will and left in accordance with your wishes.

What effect does a divorce have on my will?

Any gift in your will to your former spouse or any appointment of your former spouse as an executor, trustee or guardian will be automatically revoked. The will is otherwise valid.

What effect does marriage have on my existing will?

Unless the will refers to the intended marriage, your existing will is automatically revoked when you marry.

You should review your will every three to five years and on significant events such as divorce, remarriage, a major change in your financial position or death of an intended beneficiary or executor.

The lawyers at DDCS can assist you with the preparation of your will.