Changes to your relationship status can have a significant effect on your will, especially getting married or divorced. It is important to be aware of how these events can impact your will and be prepared to update it to ensure your will reflects your current wishes.
Divorce does not automatically revoke your will in Queensland.
Once your divorce is finalised, any previous appointment of your ex spouse as an executor or attorney, and any gift given to your ex spouse, is revoked. The other terms of your Will remain unchanged.
Marriage separation does not impact on your Will. It is only when your divorce is official that your Will will change as outlined above. The period of separation is the most important time to ensure that your Will reflects your changed circumstances and current wishes.
It is equally important that you review any death nominations made on your superannuation policies, life insurance policies and funeral policies. If there is a binding nomination in place, and that nomination is not to the estate, your superannuation benefits will not form part of your estate and the Superfund will pay your benefits to the person nominated. Other institutions will likewise pay the monies to the nominated beneficiaries.
Marriage on the other hand invalidates your entire Will. If you die without updating your Will, the rules of succession will apply. Those rules dictate who is to receive your estate, and they may not be to the people who you intended.
If you are planning to get married and are looking to update your Will, let your lawyer know so they can include appropriate provisions to ensure that the will is not invalid once your wedding occurs. Wills can be made in contemplation of marriage so that they are still valid after the wedding.