A recent case brings home sharply the need to change your will or make a will if you separate from your spouse.
A husband had separated from his wife and had entered into a new relationship. Just before the divorce papers were signed, the man died in a motor accident. He did not have a will, so the whole of his estate went to his wife under the Intestacy Rules, as she was still his spouse.
Even though divorce has the effect of revoking any gift in a will in favour of a former spouse and prevents a former spouse from taking it if there was no will, separation has no such effect.
Make separation & estate planning go hand in hand. Anyone who is separated but not divorced should make a point of reviewing their estate planning, looking particularly at jointly owned assets and their nominations for the payment of superannuation death benefits and life policy death benefits.
Contact a member of our Estate Planning Team who can assist you.