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Wills - our tips for you

  • The Wills Act 2007 gives Will-makers significant powers.  However, most of those powers are not applicable to Wills made before 1 November 2007, so if you want to take advantage of them, you will need to remake your Will -  even if you don’t want to change its general effect. Some provisions of the Wills Act do apply to Wills made before 1 November 2007 and may even invalidate some existing Wills. This is a good reason for reviewing and perhaps renewing your Will.

  • Your prior Will will become invalid on your marriage. The situation is different for de facto partners. Entering a de facto relationship does not revoke an earlier Will. This means an existing Will benefiting someone other than your current partner remains valid until you change it.

  • If you separate, the relationship property agreement does not revoke your Will. So you will have to change your Will if you want to exclude your spouse or partner prior to a separation or dissolution order being made.

  • Having a Will gives you more control over your property than dying without a Will. However, there are statutes, such as the Property (Relationships) Act, Family Protection Act and the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act which allow your Will to be challenged. It is important to get legal advice in order to minimise the chances of your Will being challenged after your death.

  • Give careful consideration to who your executors and/or trustees will be on your death, accessibility, temperament integrity may prove to be important.

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