How your de facto relationship affects your Will

There has been recent changes to the Succession Act 1981 Qld which broaden the impact that a de facto relationship can have on your will.

The legislation previously outlined the changes that marriage and divorce have on your Will, but there was no provision made for de facto relationships.

Of particular relevance to the current change, a divorce will revoke the following clauses in your Will:

  • Any appointment of your former husband/wife as executor;
  • Any gift to your former husband/wife as executor.

The same revocations now apply if you separate from a de facto partner, unless there is a contrary intention in your Will.  For example:

  • If they were appointed as executor then this appointment will fail;
  • Any gift they were to receive from your estate will fail.

The definition of ‘step-child’ has also been broadened to include the child of a party to a de facto relationship, being the step-child of the other party to the relationship.  This definition is important because a step-child is eligible to bring a family provision claim on the estate.

There are particular factors that the Court will look at when determining whether two parties are in a de facto relationship.  If you are unsure whether you may be considered to be in a de facto relationship then it is important to seek advice and also to review your estate planning.

If you separate from your partner then it is important that you update your Will.  While the laws will revoke the clauses outlined above, you should still ensure that your Will is up to date and in accordance with your current wishes.

If you would like any further information in relation to the new changes or further advice as to when you should review your estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact Kelly Lawyers.