Does getting married or divorced affect my Will?

The simple answer is “yes”, if you get married or divorced it does affect your Will!

Getting married

When you get married your existing Will is revoked, unless that Will was made in contemplation of the marriage. Any provisions made for your spouse will be valid, but not the provisions made for children or others you may have included in your Will.

If you do not update your Will, Government legislation will determine how the remainder of your estate is distributed. This may not reflect your wishes, causing disputes and delays for your spouse and loved ones.

Getting divorced or entering into a de facto relationship

If you have a Will and get divorced your Will is still valid but any provisions for your ex-spouse will be invalid. If this occurs, Government legislation will determine who will get those assets.

If you have a Will and are separated but not divorced, the Will remains valid as will any provisions for that ex-spouse.

A de facto partner can also make a claim on the estate if they can prove they were in a significant relationship with the deceased. Under the Relationships Act 2003 a significant relationship is defined as existing for a continuous period of at least 2 years (this includes same sex couples) or resulted in the birth of a child.

These situations can be very complicated and it is for these reasons that we recommend you review your Will whenever there is a change in your relationships.

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