The Effects of Marriage, Separation and Divorce on your Will and Power of Attorney

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The Effects of Marriage, Separation and Divorce on your Will and Power of Attorney

Your Will and Marriage

Unless your Will was made in contemplation of your marriage, marriage revokes your Will, except for any benefit or appointment of your spouse to whom you are married at the time of your death.

Separation and your Will

For married couples, separation alone will not revoke your Will. During the period of separation (which may be many years) if you have an old and outdated Will in place which gifts everything to your former spouse, he/she may get just that, everything!

Your Will and Divorce

Your divorce will revoke any benefit to your former spouse and also the appointment of your former spouse as your executor, trustee or guardian. However, divorce does not revoke any appointment of your former spouse as trustee of property left on trust for the children of you and your former spouse.

Marriage or Divorce and Your Power of Attorney

Unless your Power of Attorney states otherwise, it is revoked if you get married. However, if your Husband or Wife is already your Enduring Attorney, your Power of Attorney is only revoked to the extent that it gives power to someone other than your Husband or Wife.

If you divorce, your Enduring Power of Attorney will be revoked to the extent that it gives power to your former spouse.

When should I update my existing Will?

Some people prefer to hold off preparing a new Will or reviewing their existing Will until their divorce and/or property settlement has been finalised. We do not recommend this and consider it best to make a new Will or Enduring Power of Attorney as soon as possible.

Seeking appropriate legal advice is essential especially as marriage, separation and divorce can significantly affect these documents. Please call South Geldard Lawyers today on (07) 4936 9100 to book an appointment about your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney.

 

It is important to seek specific advice regarding your circumstances as this fact sheet provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.

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