I'm getting married - What do I need to do to my will?
Published 09 Oct 2017
In all the excitement of a wedding, it can be easy to forget the legal changes that such a huge life decision necessitates - particularly with regards to a will. Many Australians, particularly young ones, aren't aware of the effects a marriage has on a will, and this could lead to legal ramifications down the road.
Let's look at the legality of the changes a marriage has on a will and figure out what steps newlyweds need to take to ensure the safe future of their property and assets.
Is my old will valid now that I'm married?
If you created a will before your marriage in NSW, it is likely no longer valid now that you have a spouse. The only case in which the document is still valid is if it has a clause that states it was made 'in contemplation of marriage.' Otherwise, you will need to create a new will.
In the case of your death, your spouse would automatically become the primary beneficiary of your estate and assets. For young Australians who are entering into their first marriage, this might not be an issue - in fact, there's a chance that they didn't have a will before the marriage to begin with.
However, older individuals - or those who have been married before - might want to provide for their ex-spouse or previous children after their death. This requires updating the will after the new marriage - failure to do so can mean that your estate or assets might be divided between your new spouse and ex-spouse, or other children, in a way that you did not intend.
Updating a will post-marriage
There are many different ways to write a will, especially when you're married; some couples choose to write a joint will that can serve them both. This, naturally, can be a more risky path to take in the case of divorce, but it is still an option you should discuss with your Parramatta lawyer.
If you decide against this option, it is possible to write up an individual will that stipulates what you wish to happen after your death. This is a process that you can go through yourself, but it is still important to seek legal advice - especially if this is your second or third marriage.
For more information about drafting a will with the help of an experienced legal specialist, please reach out to Malouf Solicitors today.
Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer
I remain extremely grateful for Maloufs legal representation related to my financial management of the estate of my brother and for your continuing help and advice in this matter. As an aside, I always recommend Maloufs to my friends and family members who are seeking the best legal representation - only last week, I strongly advised a close family friend that their best interests would be served by arranging an appointment at your Parramatta offices.
John of Parramatta NSW