It can be a stressful experience to get separated from your spouse or partner. Not only does it involve mental stress regarding the end of a relationship, but you have to think about so many other things, too, like child support and property settlement. One important area is updating and reviewing the will, negligence of which may lead to a loss in assets and estate to your former spouse or partner. So, if you go through this experience, you must consult top-rated separation lawyers. This blog discusses every necessary detail you must know regarding updating your will after your divorce or separation and other family provision claims to consider.
What Is A Will?
When a person drafts a will, they add a beneficiary, who can inherit their belongings after their death or incapacitation. In Australian states, when a person dies or is incapacitated, their assets, including tangible valuables like houses, cars, land, and bank accounts, are distributed to beneficiaries according to ‘intestacy rules.’ These rules specify how and to whom the assets will be distributed.
Under these laws, the surviving former partner or spouse can inherit the deceased estate, and it applies even if the two persons are legally separated when the deceased person dies. This rule applies to both marriages and de facto partnerships.
What Happens If I Don’t Update My Will After Separation?
Intestacy rules will become applicable if you don’t update your will after your divorce or separation. Even if there is a Power of Attorney instead of a former partner, your partner or spouse will get the ownership of your estate.
For example, a separated couple can live apart for some years and decide to settle a property. However, if one partner suddenly dies during the property settlement process before finalizing a divorce, the former partner or spouse can easily inherit the entire deceased estate. It is done according to the fact that their marriage has not ended legally. The surviving partner can also access the superannuation benefits of the deceased partner.
You must also remember that a divorce must be finalized as quickly as possible after you get separated. Qualified and experienced divorce lawyers can help in this matter. As per laws, you have to live apart for a minimum of one year before you can officially file your divorce. Until the finalization of your divorce, your former partner bears absolute rights to claim against your property.
That is why it is always important to update or change your will following your separation. Leading separation lawyers in Perth can help you draft, update, or change your will. In addition, they can also help you with advice on other family law matters that must be considered as part of the process.
What Are Family Provision Claims?
Another important thing that you have to consider is family provision claims. If a family member feels excluded from the will or has been provided with inadequate rights, they can make these claims. Family provision claims also apply even if there is no valid will.
Who can make these claims will be different in different Australian territories. So, if someone wants to proceed with this step, they must first check with the specific state criteria.
What Are The Other Estate Planning Aspects Must I Consider?
Apart from a divorce or a separation, reviewing and updating the will must be done at any time when family circumstances change, which may include:
- Marriage or starting a de facto relationship, particularly if you have children from a previous marriage or a de facto relationship
- Children or grandchildren being born
- The death of a beneficiary or an executor who has already been included in the will
- Any change in financial circumstances
In addition to wills, you will need to consider other financial matters, too. If you talk to any divorce separation lawyers, they will ask you to tell you about the following things:
- Superannuation funds and death benefit nominations
- Jointly-owner properties
- Life insurance policies
- Any personal arrangements and powers of attorney
- Circumstances surrounding the decision whether you will include Testamentary Trusts in your will
- Financial advantages of owning a property in family trusts
How Can Divorce Lawyers Help?
If you want to provide maximum protection to your estate and family, it is best to seek legal advice as early as possible. You may get confused about where to start after your separation, and in that case, family and divorce lawyers are the best options to go for. They can guide you through the entire procedure and clear your doubts regarding wills, separation, and estate planning.
Where To Find Help In Perth?
Divorce Lawyers Perth is a leading family law firm in Perth, known for the reliable services they have provided to their clients over all these years. Separation and estate planning following it may be highly stressful. But the experienced lawyers of this firm can give you the best advice on what to do, thus reducing your anxiety.