Sign on the line before you leap…
The end of the 2017 year has brought wonderful news for those Australians who supported and may want to take advantage of the same sex marriage laws, with same sex marriages able to take place in Australia from early January.
One thing that all engaged couples need to consider is their wills! If you prepare a will before you get married, in most cases in South Australia, under the Wills Act, that will becomes invalid from the moment of your marriage. This is because it is assumed that getting married might change your views about where your estate should go and gives some default rights to your spouse as to your assets on your death.
If you are thinking about getting married, or have a date already arranged, you can draft a will which states that it is prepared “in contemplation of marriage”. You can specify that the will is valid after you get married, or valid from the day you sign it notwithstanding that you later get married. The wording is quite specific- another reason to beware of “do it yourself” kits for wills!
If you divorce, the Wills Act in South Australia does not invalidate your will but, unless there are reasons to think the gift was intended to continue, inheritances to your former spouse are revoked from the will.
If you are planning a marriage whilst skydiving, make sure you wills are prepared as well as making sure the straps are tight!