The question of marriage and divorce and its affect on validity of Wills arises often.
Many people don’t realise that if they marry or divorce, their Will may no longer be valid.
Couples should always execute a new Will either:
• after their marriage; or
• prior to the marriage. It is essential to include a properly worded clause in the Will that indicates if they marry, the Will will remain valid.
Many couples do not realise that a Will becomes invalid if they divorce.
If there is a divorce, or an intended divorce, then people should always execute a new Will either:
• after their divorce; or
• prior to the divorce by including a properly worded clause in the Will that deals with a subsequent divorce.
Where there are children of the marriage or relationship, it is appropriate to appoint guardians for those children if they are minors, in the event that their parents separate, divorce or predecease them.
You should also consider the appointment of Financial and Personal Attorneys as well as Medical Treatment Decision Makers if you are contempating marriage, separation or divorce. These appointments will give authority to specific people to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapable or unavailable.
Under the laws of Victoria where you do not have a Will (called intestacy) a domestic partner is treated the same way as a spouse. Former spouses or domestic partners are eligible to claim against an estate if they would have been able to take proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 with such proceedings have been commenced and not completed and they would have been prevented from starting or finishing those proceedings because of the death of the deceased.
For more information contact our Wills & Estates team for advice and assistance. Email us if you would like us to contact you.