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New Year, New Estate Plan

As we start a new year, it is important to remember that any change in life circumstances may impact on your estate plan.


If you’ve recently been engaged, it is timely to look at your estate planning.

Marriage automatically revokes a person’s Will unless it is made in contemplation of the marriage. 

To avoid having to set a reminder to update your Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney the day after you tie the knot, you can prepare your estate planning documents in contemplation of your marriage. This will allow you a grace period after the big day before you formally update your estate planning with your new spouse.


If you have recently tied the knot, and your Will is not made in contemplation of your marriage, then you are in a position where you effectively have no Will.

In this situation it is important you update your estate planning documents with your new spouse as soon as possible.

Separated or divorced

If you have separated or divorced from your spouse, you may be in the position where you have a partial Will or Enduring Power of Attorney.

There is law which determines that if you have separated or divorced from your spouse, parts of your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney may automatically be revoked. 

As a general rule, practical difficulties will arise where a partially valid document exists. For example, if your former spouse was appointed as your executor, that portion of your Will will be revoked. If your alternate executor is unavailable or has since passed, then in effect your estate will be left without an formally appointed executor.

To avoid the unnecessary practical difficulties that arise from having a partial Will, it is important to have your estate plan updated in light of your separation or divorce.

Change of superannuation fund

If you have recently changed superannuation funds, you may need to update your Binding Death Benefit Nomination.

Unfortunately, a Binding Death Benefit Nomination is fund based. Therefore, if you had one with your previous superannuation fund, it will not carry over to your new superannuation fund.

It is possible your estate plan may be tailored to having your superannuation payable to a particular beneficiary, or alternatively payable to your legal personal representative. 

A new superannuation fund means it is critical to check whether an updated Binding Death Benefit Nomination is required.

Bought or sold a major asset

If you have bought or sold a major asset such as your home or investment property, or a business, then it is important to check how this asset, or the proceeds of sale, fit in to your overall estate plan.

For example, if you have just sold a business and have received a capital sum, this is likely to increase the value of your estate. If your estate planning strategy is to keep your estate assets nominal due to a risk a claim, then having this capital sum in your name will not marry in with your estate plan.

Important to seek advice from your solicitor

If you have had a change in any life circumstances, including those listed above, it is time to have your estate plan reviewed to ensure your documents are up to date and in order.

If you would like to make an appointment or speak with a solicitor, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, Wills, Estates and Probate Lawyers (WEP Lawyers) cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. WEP Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. WEP Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.

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Written by—

Chloe Kopilovic

Call 07 3035 4077 to speak with our team now