Marriage, separation, divorce and undue influence- they all affect your Will.
Whether you’re celebrating a new marriage or celebrating the end of one, it is important you understand the effects this will have on your Will.
Marriage and your Will
Sure, getting married is an exciting time in your life. But did you know that it completely invalidates your Will? That’s right, all the time and effort you put into arranging the perfect home for your favourite lamp, completely wasted!
There is only one circumstance which ensures a previous Will, will not be invalidated upon marriage. That is, if it clearly states the words “in contemplation of marriage”.
Where you die and you have not updated your Will to reflect your marriage, a large portion of your estate may be awarded to your spouse. For some people this is not a concern. But for others, including myself, not having a say as to who gets what of my favourite assets is incredibly daunting.
Divorce and your Will
Once your divorce is finalised, there is no denying you feel as though the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. However, before you go out and get too wild, celebrating the end of a long, dry road, you should make sure you update your Will. Yawn, more legal work after a vicious custody battle, just what you want!
All jokes aside, it is very important you attend to this. The laws regarding what happens when you die, and you have not updated your Will after a divorce vary in each State or Territory.
Often it is seen that where your ex-spouse is named in your Will as the executor (the person with all the control), or is set to inherit all your assets, this will no longer occur, unless the Court believes that you intended to leave your ex-spouse a nice gift after your demise.
Just to be safe, come and speak with us. We can help you update your Will so that you still have the control after your death. Once we’ve got all your affairs in order we’ll even crack a cold one with you to celebrate not only your freedom, but your valid Will!
Separation and your Will
If you have decided you separate from your spouse, as opposed to divorce, this does not have an impact your Will. This means, if you die, without updating your Will, they will still benefit from any assets you left to them. That’s right, one last giant kick to the face. Not only are they out there celebrating their freedom, but they also get your house!
Undue influence and your Will
It’s said your life flashes before your eyes right before you die. Could you imagine yourself laying there, enjoying the show, up until the moment you see a family member, who you trusted, forcing you to write your Will in a certain way?
Unfortunately, this happens! Yeah, losing you is sad and all but the thought of inheriting your house is incredibly enticing to some.
Undue influence is difficult to prove. Put bluntly, the reason for this is because you’re dead. You can’t tell anyone that your son or daughter get you absolutely wasted the night you sat around filling out your DIY Will Kit. We all know no good decisions are never made when alcohol’s involved!
Where undue influence is proved, your Will, will be declared invalid. Unfortunately, this means that your assets will be distributed according to a previous Will, or where in circumstance there is no previous, valid Will, the laws of intestacy will apply.
I don’t know what’s worse, having NO say or your assets being distributed to a money hungry family member or friend.
So, to make sure your last moments aren’t spent worrying about the possibility of your Will being invalid, come in and talk to us!
Where to go from here?
If you have any questions regarding the validity of your Will, or if something smells fishy about a deceased persons Will, come in and speak with us. We can tell you everything you need to know to make sure your Will is valid.
For our legal support services Contact us at (02) 6295 2283
Visit us at
54-56 Townsville St, Fyshwick ACT 2609