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Estate Planning

In the world we live in today, with blended families as the “new normal”, it is essential that you protect your assets and you plan for: 

  • Providing for your children from your previous relationship; 

  • Providing for your surviving spouse from your current relationship; and 

  • Providing for any children from your current relationship. 

What this means for you in your blended family arrangement 

You both should consider and implement Financial Agreements if you haven’t done so already. 

Financial Agreements 

To avoid a situation where your childrens inheritance is reduced because of a separation from a marriage or even a de facto relationship, a Financial Agreement should be considered.  

A Financial Agreement is binding on the parties under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and deals with how property is to be dealt with in the event of a separation.  

They are often recommended to parties who have been through their first marriage and are bringing in their own respective assets to the relationship. Whilst it can be an ‘awkward’ conversation at the commencement of the relationship, they are useful in providing certainty for the parties’ future requirements. 

 The agreements can ensure that the provisions they want are made in respect of the children of their former relationships.  

A new financial agreement can also provide that any property acquired during the marriage is to be divided equally or in accordance with the parties’ respective contributions to that property. 

Estate Planning 

It is important to be aware that any will you have made, leaving all or a part of your assets to your estranged husband or wife, will still have full force and effect if you die if you have not made a new will, or changed it. 

So, you may have gone through a messy property settlement and think that everything is now sorted, and you can move on with your life. If you haven’t formally obtained a divorce any wills you have made in the past in favour of your former spouse will still be in full force and effect. 

It is recommended that you seek legal advice about the contents of your will as soon as possible after separation.  

If you have finalised your divorce, Queensland Law provides that any gift in your will to your former husband or wife, will be revoked and of no effect. Additionally, any appointment of them as executor or trustee will be null and void.  

Just because you are divorced, doesn’t mean you are legally banned from making a gift to a former spouse in your will. 

Provided that you declare in the documents an intention that you wish to make the gift valid despite the effect of the legislation you can do so.


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