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What happens to your will following a divorce?

23 November 2023

Guide Wills

What happens to your will following a divorce?

Your relationship status is important when writing your will. If you’ve recently married, or you’re getting divorced, you will want to check your will because changes in relationship status can change your priorities, or even affect whether your will is still valid.

Let’s look at what happens to your will after a major change in relationship status.

Is a will rendered invalid by a divorce?

In Victoria, getting divorced will make any part of your will that mentions your former husband or wife invalid, unless there is something in the will which demonstrates that you intended for this not to be the case. Validity is important because it’s how the law decides whether the wishes in your will can be enforced.

These parts (or clauses) might have named your ex-spouse as executor. The executor is the legal word for the person who carries out the wishes stated in a will. Or they might have been the parts that left your former spouse assets, gifts or anything that is left over.

Is a will made invalid by separation (not divorce)?

Separation does not affect your will the same way as divorce. If you are separated but still married, and plan to get divorced, it is very important that you review your will.

This is because your will is still valid through a separation. If you name your husband or wife as executor, or a beneficiary, that will still be valid until you get formally divorced. A beneficiary is a person that you name in your will. They are someone you want to receive items or assets (from your estate) after you die.

To fix this, you can revoke your old will, or write a new will that lines up with your new circumstances.

Making a new will after divorce

Whether you are still getting divorced, or you and your former spouse finalised your divorce years ago, it’s important that you make sure your will is still what you want. One way to make sure your will is in line with your wishes is to make a new will.

If you would like help , you can reach out to the team at State Trustees. We provide administration, trustee and estate related services and are proud of what we do to help our clients make sure everything is handled the right way.

Reach out to State Trustees today!

Who we choose to spend our lives with is a deeply personal choice. For many Australians each year, divorce brings with it a massive change in priorities. Whether through a remote video or in -person Will Appointment,  our professional will writers can help you create a new will. You can also use our Online Will to produce a simple will document in as little as 30 minutes.

For any questions you might have about ensuring that this transition and what you now want for your friends and family is reflected in your will, do not hesitate to reach out to us by calling 1300 138 672 or fill out a contact form today.

Useful resources

Guide

Will writing guide

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Checklist

Executor checklist

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Guide

8 reasons to update your will

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State Trustees Limited operates on the lands of Traditional Custodians. We acknowledge their history, culture and Elders past, present and emerging. State Trustees is committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff and clients. We celebrate and value people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures and abilities.

Original artwork ‘Four Sisters Coming Together’ by Melissa Bell 2023