A common misunderstanding that many clients have is that separating from a partner, or the process of a family law property settlement will automatically revoke a Will, when in fact a separation from a partner will only revoke a Will when divorce is finalised.
In Victoria, under s14 of the Wills Act 1997, when you divorce from your spouse, the following provisions in your Will are revoked:
- Any gift you have left to your divorced spouse;
- Any grant of a power of appointment (other than a power of appointment exercisable by your divorced spouse in favour of persons who are the children of both you and your divorced spouse); and
- Any appointment of your divorced spouse as executor, trustee or guardian (other than as trustee of any property left to the children of both you and your divorced spouse).
If you have recently separated from your partner, it is essential to review and update your Will as soon as possible to reflect this change of circumstances. If you do not amend your Will and you do pass away, your ex-partner may inherit some (or all) of your estate in accordance with the terms of your Will.
What if I Want to Include My Ex-partner in My Will?
If, after your divorce, you would still like to include your ex-partner in your Will, it is essential that you seek legal advice as it may be necessary to prepare a new Will to express your wishes.
How Can Nevett Ford Help?
If you have recently separated from your partner, are in the midst of divorce proceedings or if you have any queries about your Will or its validity, please contact our Wills & Estates team on 03 9614 7111 who will be able to assist you or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.