Estate Planning After Separation

“Betty separated from her husband Pete, they have one child, namely Samantha. Betty’s Will left everything with Pete. Not long after separation, Betty was killed in a car accident. In accordance to her wishes, all her assets passed to Pete. Some two years later, Pete remarries Kylie. When Pete passes away, Kylie receives everything.

Remember Samantha, Betty and Pete’s child?

She was not a beneficiary in the Will because Betty never changed it”

What happens to my Will after separation?

A marriage separation does not have an effect on your Will, like a Divorce does. One of the most important times to ensure your Will reflects the changes in your relationship, is the period between separation and divorce.

If you do not update your Will, a portion of your estate may be awarded to your former partner. If it is your first marriage, then it may not pose too much of an issue – but if you have been married previously and have children from that relationship, their entitlements could be affected.

Did you know that?

If you were to pass away after you had separated and your Will had not been updated, your former partner could receive the assets that you had set out in your Will for them.

Divorce and your Will

Divorce can affect your will! In Queensland, section 14 of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) provides that Marriage automatically revokes a Will unless the Will was expressly made in contemplation of the marriage.

What if my former partner is my Enduring Power of Attorney?

If you are separated, your former partner could still be entitled to make decisions about you and your estate. To prevent this, you should appoint a new person of your choice as your Enduring Power of Attorney.

Need help?

Whether you are getting married or divorced you should always obtain legal advice to discuss your estate planning.

The process of updating or creating a new Will and Enduring Power of Attorney does not need to be a complex and costly event. Don’t leave it until it is too late!

Contact us today to arrange an appointment.

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