Changing Your Will After Divorce
The long list of things to do after divorce can be overwhelming. You will need to work through the list, prioritising important tasks that need to be done at the outset, and what can be done further down the track. One of the tasks that needs to be close to the top of your list is changing your Will after a divorce, as failing to do so could have serious consequences for your estate.
We share some helpful information on the effect of your will after separation, and the implications of not changing your will after divorce to reflect your current circumstances below:
When you separate from your partner, the provisions of your Will that relate to your spouse will continue to have effect until after your divorce order is made. This is because at law, your marriage still exists even though you are no longer “together”. In Australia, married couples must be separated for at least twelve (12) months before applying to the Court for a divorce order. As with most legal requirements, there are some exceptions you can read further about here. So even though you and your spouse have separated, if you have named them as the beneficiary of your estate, they will remain the beneficiary. This could result in you gifting the entirety of your estate to your former partner!
After your divorce becomes final, any provision of your Will that relates to your spouse will have no effect and your estate may be left, for example, without an executor or a beneficiary or you may effectively die intestate. Put plainly, for inheritance purposes, your ex-spouse is treated as if they had died upon your divorce becoming final. If you fail in changing your Will after divorce, your estate could be treated as if you don’t have a Will at all, or your estate may be dealt with differently to how you had planned.
Need Some Help Updating Your Will After a Divorce?
If you are going through a divorce or have recently separated, Pullos Lawyers can help guide you through the often complex and emotional process. Our team of family lawyers can help to simplify the process and minimise stress, by assisting with filing your divorce application, updating your will after divorce, and guiding you through the essential steps. We can also assist with a range of matters including De Facto & Same Sex Law, Spousal Maintenance, and property settlement. Please get in touch via email, or call us in our Gold Coast office on (07) 5526 3646, or our Brisbane office on (07) 3144 1641.