Effect of marriage on your Will

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Effect of marriage on your Will.

You’re preparing for your wedding and planning your future together. You may be looking at wedding venues, buying your first home, and deciding on where to go for your honeymoon. But have you updated your Will? No doubt you want to provide for and protect your new spouse, and updating your Will is a critical step in planning for your future.

Marriage and your Will

As a general rule of thumb, you should review and update your Will about every two years or on the happening of a major life event. Getting married has a legal impact on your existing Will, and it is a key time to review your estate planning and update your Will.

Under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld), getting married will revoke your Will. The purpose of this rule is to protect the spouse and children of the testator who may be unfairly treated under a Will made before marriage. However, there are some limited exceptions to rule. If you have an existing Will, your marriage will not revoke:

a gift to your spouse at the time of your death;
an appointment as executor, trustee, advisory trustee or guardian of your spouse at the time of your death; and
your Will, to the extent it exercises a power of appointment, if the revocation would cause a failure for property to pass to the executor if a power of appointment under your Will was not exercised.

A Will that is made in contemplation of marriage is generally not revoked upon marriage. However, this has been the subject of litigation and it is recommended that such a Will expressly state that it is being made in contemplation of marriage and to whom. In any event, if you are considering updating your estate plan we recommend you seek legal advice to discuss your wishes.

Other matters for you to consider

The terms of your Will should reflect your current relationship and family status. It is also important to consider updating your Enduring Power of Attorney and any superannuation or life insurance nominations to reflect your relationship change.

Getting your Will right is very important, and it will save your loved ones a considerable amount of stress if you have an up-to-date Will in place when you die. We are available to discuss your individual circumstances and to draft the appropriate estate plan.

Please contact us to discuss your estate planning needs.

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The content published in this Blog is in the form of academic papers and the opinions expressed herein are generalised. The information provided is for educational purposes, not specific legal advice.

The application of any principles referred to can alter from case to case and accordingly you should seek independent legal advice in respect of your individual circumstances.


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