The consequences of leaving no Will can be particularly significant following a divorce or relationship separation. In the aftermath of a relationship break down, many tend to forget to create a new estate plan to ensure that their assets and decisions are taken out of the hands of the former spouse and the former spouse’s family.
Divorce affects your will, but it does so differently in each state and territory. In some jurisdictions, divorce will automatically render your Will invalid.
In South Australia, neither divorce nor separation revokes your Will automatically. Once divorced, only particular clauses in your Will which names your former spouse as an executor or beneficiary are revoked. The other parts of your Will which do not benefit your former spouse will still be effective. The period of separation which occurs prior to the divorce being finalised, or the period of separation from a de-facto partner, does not have an effect on your Will. Similarly, if you die before you are fully divorced (i.e. have yet to obtain from the Family Court of Australia the final Decree Absolute), then you are still “married” as far as the law goes. If you had a valid Will while you were married and have not revoked it, then it will remain in force.
Thus, in order to ensure that your estate is properly distributed in accordance with your wishes, you should ensure that your Will is kept up to date to prevent your former spouse to have an entitlement to your estate.
If you would like to inquire about writing a Will or find out more about your rights and options, Straits Lawyers are here to help.
We are now offering online Will services. To access these services, simply click on the link – https://straits-lawyers.square.site/product/online-will-/1?cs=true
Alternatively, you could send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.