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Family Law and Your Will

Family Law and Your Will: the effect of separation, divorce and marriage

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019
By: Emmy Langmaid, Solicitor, Coote Family Lawyers

To my dream team.  Many thanks for your support and assistance during this year.  I wont say it's been easy, however it has been made 1000% better with your involvement.  You all rock.

Have you recently experienced a separation or divorce?  Have you re-married or are you considering marrying in the future? 

It is very common for married couples to appoint each other as both the Executor and Residual Beneficiary of their Estate.  This means that when one of them passes away, their spouse will be responsible for handling the administration of their Estate and will also receive the main benefit of their Estate. 

Under the Wills Act 1997 (Vic), divorce revokes such appointments and dispositions (subject to key exceptions).  In most situations, this will mean that your Will becomes invalid after you and your former spouse divorce. 

Importantly, this also means that your Will remains valid if you are separated but not yet divorced. In this case, if you pass away before finalising your divorce/property settlement, your former spouse is likely to receive the disposition provided for in your Will.  

Similarly, subject to specific exceptions, your Will is revoked by a later marriage. 

If your financial and family circumstances have changed due to separation, divorce or marriage, you should seek expert legal advice about whether your Will should be updated to ensure that your intentions are carried out and your family is properly provided for when you pass away. 

Our Wills & Estates Team can help answer any questions or concerns you may have.  Call now on 9804 0035.

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The result was quite unexpectedly favourable given the other party's position.

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