While Marriage Kills Wills – Separation Doesn’t – EP Tip 4

 

Just separated, looking forward to a fresh new start.  Life beyond divorce…

 

Its greener and brighter on the other side.  Don't trip over the gate.

Its greener and brighter on the other side.  Don’t trip over the gate.  (A canola field in NSW)

Die before a divorce is finalised – chances are your Ex will inherit everything you own pursuant to your Will.

If you don’t have a Will  –  chances are your Ex will still get most …perhaps all… of your assets under the intestacy laws.  It varies a little depending on the jurisdiction you live in.  Just accept that the story doesn’t end happily for you….

Big concern, simple solution.  Do a new Will when you separate.

What happens when I get a formal divorce?

If you survive the separation period – then divorce will automatically alter your existing Will.   At least in many jurisdictions  –  but not all.  You need to check if you live in a lucky country.

Even is a lucky country the impact varies between the different States and Territories.  In some jurisdictions, divorce automatically revokes (cancels) the entire Will.  In others, divorce simply revokes any appointment of your former spouse as your executor and any gift you left your Ex unless:

• a court is satisfied that was not your intention;  or

• you re-do your Will or do a Codicil to the Will after the divorce without changing the appointment of your Ex as executor and/or a gift to him/her.

Rather than leave these matters open to dispute in the courts, it is much better for you to do a

new Will immediately after separation and then again (if necessary) once a property settlement is in place.

EP Tip 4:

Reviewing and updating your Will is just as important as creating one.   Separation from a partner is just one event that should jolt you into action.

 

Bigfoot-2

Don’t get stepped on

 

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Disclaimer:  this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.

 


Marriage Kills Wills – EP Tip 3 – don’t be a victim

Marriage and Wills

Have you just married, remarried, entered a de facto relationship or separated from your partner?

Congratulations – whatever the case may be.

Take stock though. You are exposed.  And no … I’m not referring to changed bedroom scenes that accompany your new arrangements.

There are important legal consequences that flow from your changed circumstances that you should be aware of.  A few examples follow.

Marriage kills Wills

Marriage annuls an existing Will.  Die before doing a new Will and your new spouse gets the lot.  For most first-timers this isn’t an issue but for those taking the plunge a second time … you may have children from an earlier relationship you wish to provide for.  Your old Will is no longer worth the paper it’s written on.

Polar dip-112Taking The Plunge In Antarctica – Don’t experience the shock unless you are prepared.

Never had a Will?  The outcome in this scenario will be the same.  Bad luck kids. Shiver in the cold.

Acquiring property by stealth

Setting up house with a de facto doesn’t terminate a Will like marriage.

But be warned …sexually transmitted property rights … that’s another story.   As time passes by you and your partner each develop rights in the property of the other.  Rights that may conflict with wishes you have expressed in your Will – assuming you have one – almost 50% of us don’t.

Separation anxieties – you should have

Separation brings with it a whole range of emotional, personal and financial upheaval. One thing that doesn’t change however is your Will.  Die before you have a divorce or property settlement and guess who gets your property?

If your will leaves everything to the one person you now wish would disappear out of your life, s/he gets the lot.   Bugger me.  Easy solution – do a new will.

Going without a fresh Will between separation and divorce is akin to having unsafe sex.  Think prevention.  The alternative is messy, embarrassing and costly.

Separate and die without a Will – guess who gets the lot under the intestacy laws?  Who knows?  It depends in which State you live.  One thing is certain however … you won’t have a say in who gets what.  You can bank on one thing  – your new worst enemy is likely to get the lion’s share.  Easy solution – do a Will.

It can be lonely-8507

It can be a lonely place to find yourself

 Face It


Just as you would update your Facebook relationship status when you separate, your Will also needs to reflect any changes such as marriage, commencement of a de facto relationship, divorce and separation, oh yes and of course mention of any children that have been born.  Doing a Will isn’t much more complicated than updating your Facebook….  although people of my generation might say Facebook is a lot harder.  They may say ‘what Facebook’?.   You get my drift though….

I regularly speak to people (clients are people) who admit they haven’t looked at their Will in a long time, despite entering into a new relationship or ending one. Too much other stuff happening in their head. It changes if you’re dead….if you could –  you’d prioritise things differently.   Maybe even do a Will.

Talk it over-120

If in doubt – talk it over with a professional

EP Tip # – 3 You should review your Will to make sure it is still appropriate in light of your changed circumstances and make a new one if necessary.

Separate  – your Will survives.   Will your legacy do the same?

My next EP Tip lots at Divorcing your partner and your Will.

Below are a few snaps of my recent trip to Antarctica to remind you how cold things can get if you don’t plan ahead.

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Crystal Clear-59

Crystal Clear – this iceberg is – is my message ?

Miiroe Bergs-65

Mirror Mirror – tell me….am I safe?

Watch your back-59

Watch your back – it’s cold out there

Smile-8654

Keep smiling

Bother-8712

Bother – motor down – Will absent…

Disclaimer:  this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.

 


Regrets of the Elderly – us in a few Years

This is a summary of regrets expressed by nursing home residents surveyed by the Guardian.
regrets1
Thanks to the Guardian for the reminder – planning involves more than legal documents.   Estate Planning and living a fulfilled life have one thing in common – you must take the time to do it right.

I INVITE YOUR CONTRIBUTION / COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the  ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow”  link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

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