It is not uncommon when discussing legal matters with our clients to be told that they have never done any Estate planning and therefore they do not have a Will. Most are still “getting around to doing one”.
But without a Will the certainty of who will be your beneficiary may be taken out of your hands. A great example of the twists and turns in Estate Law is the situation where the Estate is divided between more than one spouse.
Here's What Happens When you Have Two Spouses and No Will
John is married to Jane but separated from her over two years ago, when he moved in with and started a defacto relationship with his new partner Jill. He has never done any Estate planning and does not have a Will. He has not divorced Jane although they have finalized property settlement in the Family Court.
After John's death the legislation (Succession Act 1981 (Qld) is applied to his Estate and both Jane and Jill are defined as ‘spouses’ for the purposes of the division of his Estate. Both of them will be entitled to receive a distribution from his Estate.
The Succession Act 1981 (Qld)
The legislation asks the question :- “Who is my spouse?”
The legislation answers the question :- a “Husband” or “Wife”, a “Defacto Partner” or a “Civil Partner”. The legislation provides for distribution to those parties even if that was not what the deceased person would have intended at the time of their death.
Your Last Will and Testament is the best and only way, with some exceptions, of ensuring your Estate reaches the hands of your intended beneficiaries.
We encourage you to consider planning your Estate and making a Will to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled upon your death. As you know there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, and they can come upon us unexpectedly without warning.
It is always best to be in control, prepared and have a plan.
I suggest you engage a lawyer experienced in Estate planning to assist you with preparing a Will that reflects your wishes and covers all bases for you and your loved ones.
For more information or to discuss your Will, please phone Kennedy Spanner Lawyers on (07) 3236 9169.