Separated but not divorced? Your ex-spouse may have a claim on your estate.
Have you separated from your spouse but have not legally divorced? If you are still married your ex-spouse is eligible to make a claim on your estate, despite any written intentions in your Will.
Under the rules of succession, you have a legal and moral right to provide for your spouse, children and financial dependants. Although you may not currently provide financial support to your ex-spouse and have updated your Will to exclude them as a beneficiary, your legal obligation will still exist, allowing that person to make a claim on the assets and superannuation benefits in your estate. The only way to sever these legal obligations to provide for your spouse is by obtaining a divorce. A ‘legal separation’ is not sufficient to prevent an ex-spouse from making a claim, what is required is a divorce certificate.
Following a separation and/or divorce it is important to update your Will. At this time you should also update your Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian.
If you do not have a Will and die ‘intestate’, the consequences of failing to legally sever ties with your ex-spouse through a formal divorce may be different. >>>> Click here (link is external) for more information.
Contact the estate planning lawyers at Matthews Folbigg in Parramatta to update your Will, Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardianship. We can provide legal advice on all estate planning and superannuation matters.