In Melbourne and under Victorian law, marriage revokes any previous Will you have made. Marriage will also alter the rules regarding distribution once you pass away. For both these reasons, make an appointment with an inheritance solicitor at The Probate Professionals today to get your will drawn up professionally.
Divorce - Separation
If you have separated, but have not yet officially divorced, your ex will very likely be entitled to a large part of your estate. The only way of preventing this is to get a Will.
Similarly, when you get divorced you MUST get a Will as the law regarding who is protected changes on divorce.
Step children are not included under the current legislation. This can cause two big problems.
On the one hand, you might wish to pass some of your estate to a step-child. Only a Will can do this.
On the other hand, it is possible for your estate to go to your surviving partner and then to their children. This can only be prevented with a Will.
The New Partner
Some people worry that should they die, their partner will marry and then that new partner will get everything should their spouse die. Use a Will to prevent the 'new partner' getting everything of yours!
Forced Purchase by your Partner
Without a Will, a large part of the estate (if the estate is worth more than $400,000 the majority except personal goods) will go to the children. The surviving partner has the right to buy the house from the estate and MAY HAVE TO purchase their own residential home to 'pay out' any adult children.
Children Treated Equally
Victorian legislation, as you would expect, treats the surviving children equally. This makes sense - usually. However, it ignores what often happens in life which is that Parents often 'advance' money to a child for a reason such as buying a home or starting a business. An equal distribution in cases like these is unlikely to be fair to all the children. A Will can take into account those circumstances of life and distribute the estate fairly.
For various reasons it is often seen as wise for certain people who might benefit from your estate under the law to not receive anything. A Will is necessary to achieve a result like this.
You are not required by law to make a Will, BUT a Will serves many important purposes. The three most important things a lawyer made Will can do for you are:
Who Gets What
It lets you select who inherits your property and assets (your heirs). If you do not make a Will then the state decides your heirs based on a formula, and those people might be people you dislike or dont even know very well.
Who Will Handle Your Affairs
A Will lets you choose who manages your estate. You can choose someone you are comfortable with. That person makes sure your estate is distributed fairly and protects the interests of the beneficiaries.
What Happens to Your Children
The Will protects your right to select an individual to serve as the guardian to raise your children in the event of your death.
Government law decides what happens.
Probably not. No two people are alike and the risk of not getting it right is to great. A poorly drawn will can cause quite a few family upsets for those left behind. A lawyer has the experience necessary to draft a Will for you.
Yes. Things change and your Will needs to take those changes into account.