Sometimes issues arise in circumstances where a person has separated from a partner, but failed to update their Will following the break-up. Whether a person is in a married or de facto relationship, divorced or separated, their Will should reflect their current circumstances.
In particular, marriage revokes a Will, so if a person has separated from their married spouse without divorce, then the spouse is still entitled to the property gifted to them in a previously established last Will. The consequences may be unfavourable if the person is in a new de facto relationship, or if they have children from a previous relationship whom they want to provide for. Moreover, separation of assets and property after the break-up of a marriage has no legal effect on a Will.
Similarly, if a former partner or spouse has been appointed their Enduring Power of Attorney, then it might be worthwhile updating that Power of Attorney document because, if, for any reason the person lost capacity, then the former partner would be entitled to make decisions regarding the person’s financial and lifestyle choices.
The best protection against the costly and stressful issues of Will’s is through reviewing your estate planning arrangements every time your personal or financial circumstances change.