Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney
Separated but not legally divorced? Even more so, it’s important that you have a Will!

Separated but not legally divorced? Even more so, it’s important that you have a Will!

In summary – there is a huge danger if you do not have a Will in place during the time between separation and finalizing a divorce and property settlement.

Breakups in relationships are common. A former spouse’s relationship can be in any state, ranging from amiable to hateful and all in between.

You should be aware of the risk present while your relationship is still in flux until a formal divorce and property division are resolved.

If I separate and don’t have a Will, what happens to my estate?

The “intestacy provisions” will take effect if you pass away without a Will. Your jurisdiction’s succession law includes intestacy laws that specify how an estate should be divided in the absence of a Will. Although each state has its unique intestacy laws, most of them mandate that a husband and children (from a former relationship) receive the majority of an intestate estate’s initial distribution. The spouse may receive everything.

If you separate and don’t have kids, there is a higher chance that your estate won’t pass to the people you want it to. This is because your estranged spouse will first be entitled to your entire estate.

What should I do if my spouse and I decide to divorce?

  • Seek counsel and make a Will.
  • Clear communication is important and always try to keep things as amicable as possible.
  • If you already have a will, update it as required, paying particular attention to any rights your ex-spouse may have.
  • Finalize Family Court cases as soon as possible, especially those involving divorce and property division.

HAZELEGAL is here to guide you through the estate planning process and to help you achieve your wishes. Please call us to consider if a Will would be beneficial to your circumstances on (03) 9028 7603.