Certain changes to your personal circumstances can have legal effect on your Will, particularly marriage or divorce. It is important to know the legal implications in a change of relationship status upon your Will.
I just got married, now what?
Generally speaking, your Will becomes invalid when you get married. While there are certain limited exceptions to this in the different Australian states or territories, it is best practice to update your Will once you get married to make sure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances, and to ensure it's validity.
Does divorce invalidate my Will?
Similar to marriage, divorce has a major effect on your marriage, which differs on a state by state basis. While in some states divorce will automatically invalidate your Will, in others it may have an effect on any bequests you have left to your former partner (unless the court determines that this was not your intention).
Whatever the case, it is best to update your Will as soon as you get divorced to ensure that your Will is the true reflection of your intentions.
My partner and I separated but are not yet divorced, is my Will invalid?
Marriage separation prior to a divorce is an even trickier scenario. In NSW, for instance, being separated prior to a divorce does not have any legal effect on your Will. which is understandably problematic for many separated couples. In this instance, it is most important to ensure that you have updated your Will to reflect your current circumstances and wishes.
If you are unsure as to whether an anticipated marriage, divorce or separation may affect the validity of your Will, we recommend you seek independent legal advice.