Keeping Your Will Updated After Separation

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When people separate or divorce, they’re often preoccupied with the division of their current assets—they forget about estate planning and protecting their future assets. Here, we discuss the importance of wills.

When should I review my will?

You should review your will every few years or whenever you face a major change in your family structure or personal circumstances, or if there have been significant changes to your assets or the tax laws. Your will should always reflect your express wishes for the management and distribution of your estate.

What if I separate or divorce?

When marriage is terminated by divorce or annulment, or a civil partnership is terminated, any bequeath in favour of the former spouse or civil partner, and any powers of appointment, are generally revoked. An exception would be when the Supreme Court is satisfied that the person who made the will did not intend to exclude the former spouse or civil partner.

What if I take another partner?

Generally speaking, under the ACT Wills Act, if you marry or enter into a ’civil partnership’ after having made a will, your will is automatically revoked. There are some exceptions, including when you have expressed that the will has been made in contemplation of your marriage or civil partnership.

What else should I do?

You should review your superannuation and life insurance policies and make any amendments regarding beneficiaries. You should also review any Powers of Attorney you have granted.