If your relationship status has changed due to a marriage, divorce or if you have recently bought or sold a significant asset or made changes to a superannuation fund, it is important that you understand the impact these changes can have on your will. Below is a brief guide.
Marriage will likely affect any existing will. If you recently tied the knot or are making plans to do so, you should review and revise your will. If you fail to do this, the majority of your estate could be awarded to your spouse. While it is unlikely that this will be a problem if you are marrying for the first time, if you have kids from an earlier marriage or other significant others you wish to provide for after your death, it is important that this is reflected in your will.
The affect of divorce on your will varies depending on which Australian state or territory you live in. In some states, a divorce will render an existing will invalid, while in others divorce, will revoke your ex-husband or wife as your executor, trustee, guardian or as a beneficiary. However, if you republish the will after the divorce, listing them in one of these positions will not occur.
Sale or Purchase of Significant Assets
If you have recently sold or bought a significant asset such as a business, a property or other high valve item, this could have an impact on your will. You should review your will and amend any reference to assets you have sold. You should also add references to any assets you wish to pass on to a particular beneficiary. This will help to avoid the will being contested after your death.
Because superannuation funds are separate from the rest of your estate, they are not automatically dealt with by your will. If you make any changes to your superannuation fund, you should also review your will
Births and Deaths
You should review your will whenever a significant life event occurs such as the the birth of a child or the death of the executor of your will or any of the named beneficiaries.
If you need help and assistance drawing up or amending your will, you should contact a probate lawyer to discuss your estate. A lawyer who specialises in estate planning and dealing with deceased estates will be able to ensure your will is properly drafted and amended in accordance with the law.