How does Marriage, Separation or Divorce Impact your Will?

the conveyancer

Whether it is the start of a relationship or the end, it is important to understand the effect marriage, divorce or separation can have on your will. Your will should reflect any significant relationship changes – these changes can include marriage, entering into a de-facto relationship, divorce or separation.


Many people are unaware that their Will becomes invalid when they marry unless previously made ‘in contemplation of marriage’.If you have married since you completed your Will you should consider updating it. If it is your first marriage you will want to include your new spouse. If it is a second marriage you may want to consider allowing for children of any past relationships.


Another time to update your will is following a marriage separation. Separation does not automatically have an impact on your will. In NSW you must be separated for 12 months before a divorce is granted. If you fail to update your Will after separation then any gifts you have given to your former spouse in your Will will still be distributed to them if you die.


Divorce will revoke parts of your will, including gifts to your former spouse and any appointment of them as executor, trustee or guardian unless your intentions are specified to leave something to your former spouse.

Updating your estate plan


In the event of any major personal life change such as marriage, separation or divorce you should consider creating a new Will, Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian to ensure that your estate planning reflects your wishes. In addition, you should also review and update any superannuation Binding Death Nominations.

Our Estate Planning team can assist you in any changes to your Estate Planning Documents. Please view our Wills & Estate page to learn more about our services.

Important Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.

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