Quite often during marriage, separation and/or divorce, estate planning is the last thing on your mind. There can however, be a number of serious repercussions for your wealth, when getting married or splitting up.
It is important to know that getting married revokes a person’s existing Will. Therefore if you die after getting married, you may die without the benefit of a Will and your assets may pass to beneficiaries who you would not otherwise have chosen. This is particularly relevant in second and third marriages.
People should immediately update their Will as soon as possible after marriage or alternatively execute a Will prior to their marriage which is made in contemplation of their marriage to a certain person.
What about divorce and separation?
You must be separated from your spouse for 12 months before you can finalise your divorce. Separation has however, no impact on the validity of your Will which means that any asset given to your former partner would still be distributed to them if you died.
This is not a desirable situation for couples who have recently separated, so it is advisable to update your Will as soon as possible after separating from your partner.
A divorce, once approved by the Family Court, does revoke your previous Will.
Once divorced you need to prepare a fresh Will, otherwise you will die intestate and your assets may be distributed to persons that you would not have otherwise chosen.
In a separation divorce or marriage scenario you also need to consider who you have selected to manage your financial affairs in the event that you cannot. So in these circumstances you may also need to update your power of attorney.
We can assist you at Everingham Solomons with all of your estate planning needs because Helping You is Our Business.
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