Preparing for the future can be a daunting task. And once done, many people do not want to have to consider it again. However, you will need to consistently update your will throughout your life to reflect any major life changes.  Separating from a long-term partner or divorcing your spouse can be an emotional experience and often the last thing you want to look at is more paperwork. However, ensuring that your last wishes and intentions are being looked after is extremely important. And after a messy divorce the last thing most of us want is for our hard-earned assets falling into the hands of our ex. In this blog post, New South Lawyers' experienced Family Lawyers answer some of your FAQs on wills and divorce. Including:  Should I update my will during separation?

 Should I update my will during separation?

There are only two circumstances which will automatically change any express wishes in a Will. Firstly, marriage; andSecondly, divorce*.  Legal separation will not automatically affect the wishes of your Will and if you have bequeathed assets to your former spouse, they will still receive them if you die with divorce pending. Essentially, if you pass away before your divorce is finalised, your former spouse is still entitled to whatever gifts you may have granted to them.

Divorce* The fine print

Depending upon where you live in Australia your divorce may not revoke or nullify your Will. In NSW, a divorce revokes parts of the will including assets which were going to be distributed to your former spouse and any appointment of them as a guardian, trustee or executor but different states have different laws. This is why if you are going through a separation, we recommend you change your will as soon as possible.

Other circumstances when you should change your will

Life is messy and updating your Will regularly is the only way to accurately reflect any changes throughout your life. We recommend updating your will every five years or if one of the following occurs and you have.  Firstly, started a de facto relationship. Secondly, had any children or grandchildren. Thirdly, bought or sold any assets. Fourthly, a beneficiary under your will pass away. Fifthly, your executor become unable to perform your duties. Sixthly, your spouse pass away. Finally, a change in the value of any assets. Still confused about the answer to the question: Should I update my will during separation? We highly recommend seeking legal advice from our Family Lawyers if you are separating and need to update your will . To discuss your Family Law matter please contact our Sydney Family Law team on 02 9891 6388.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. To that end, people should not rely on this communication as legal advice. Accordingly, they should seek formal legal advice for matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Family Law Team today.